A small but growing number of developed nations plan to ban vehicles that run on petrol and diesel from their roads. This has led to many jitters for those in the fossil fuels industry. Would such a ban really mean the end of fossil fuels?
Here is a short video showing how the use of electric vehicles could destroy the oil industry:
I will give you a few reasons why that will not happen.
The Ban May Never Happen
One of the reasons why it may not have an effect on the oil industry is that it may never happen. The automobile industry is a huge industry that is worth billions of dollars. They have many lobbyists all over the legislative bodies. In most cases, they may decide to go on the offensive, this would make the ban almost impossible to achieve.
Besides that, the automobile industry provides a livelihood for many people. With the world economy still barely pulling through, that is a risk that politicians may not be willing to take. No politician wants to make a decision that could potentially see hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs. Even if it does happen, it will only happen in a few countries, which will not make big enough of an impact on the sale of oil.
Developing countries will pick up the Slack
As it stands today, most of the fuel consumed by vehicles is in the developed world. In fact, if all countries were consuming fuel at the same rate as the developed world, the world would be experiencing a major fuel shortage.
The top fastest growing economies are developing countries. As developed countries gradually ban the use of internal combustion engines, the developing countries will pick up the slack. Their fuel consumption will continue to grow and increase their oil consumption. Already, countries such as China are having a huge impact on the oil prices around the world. Their need for consuming oil will only continue to grow with time. That means the oil industry will always have a market for their products.
Cleaner Engines Will be developed
The main reasons why developed countries want to ban petrol and diesel engines are that they pollute the environment. They produce exhaust fumes that are harmful to the environment. However, that reason could be negated with advanced technology. The engines of the future could be so efficient as to produce almost no harmful byproducts into the atmosphere.
Another development that is likely to take place is that cars will be able to recycle their own exhaust fumes. That means a vehicle will be able to run for miles without producing any exhaust with just a small amount of fuel. This may be one of the main reasons why calls for the ban are dropped.
There is Not Enough Electricity supply to Power All Vehicles
If the ban came into effect, all vehicles would have to be electric. The grids of such countries would have to cope with peaks and falls of tens of GW every hour. Most experts will tell you that unless the grid is tweaked, it cannot cope with such rises and falls. Because of this reason, most people would abandon the vehicles since they would not be able to power them. Having considered such practicalities, the governments of these countries would be cautious about getting everyone to use electric vehicles.
Major Industries Would Still Need Fuel
It is important to note that vehicles are not the only way that the oil industry makes sales. They still supply fuel to major industries such as electricity plants. These plants still consume a lot of fuel. Other plants that produce consumer goods will still need fuel to power their machines. As the global population grows, they will need more fuel to produce more goods. That means the oil industry will still have a market for their products.
There is Not Enough Political Unity
Such a decision requires that all sides of the political divide work towards a common goal. However, that will be hard to achieve since there is not much unity on climate change today. For instance, the United States withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord.
With the largest single consumer for the oil industry unwilling to commit to climate change, that is good for the oil industry. It means they will still be able to sell their product to many car owners within the US. With such a significant market at their disposal, it is safe to say the oil industry has a bright future ahead.
After examining all the facts surrounding this discussion, I have concluded that the oil industry will continue to exist long after 2040. All the alternative fuel sources available today are just not effective enough to warrant a drop in the use of oil products. Nothing short of a miracle could bring the oil industry to its knees.