Recent technological developments and past technology transitions suggest that the world
could be on the verge of a profound shift in transportation technology. The return of the electric
car and its adoption, like that of the motor vehicle in place of horses in early 20th century,
could cut oil consumption substantially in the coming decades. Our analysis suggests that oil
as the main fuel for transportation could have a much shorter life span left than commonly
assumed. In the fast adoption scenario, oil prices could converge to the level of coal prices,
about $15 per barrel in 2015 prices by the early 2040s. In this possible future, oil could become
the new coal.
Reda Cherif, Fuad Hasanov, Aditya Pande, Mr. Ray Brooks, and Mr. Ralph Chami
reduction in recent years to extrapolate into the future (e.g. BNEF).
We approach forecasting EVs from several perspectives. First, we use the horse-car transition pattern that happened a century ago to extrapolate EV adoption, and we verify that our extrapolation matches the data on EV adoption between 2011 and 2015. Second, we project the number of EVs using a diffusion model widely used in management science to predict the adoption of new technologies. Finally, we discuss the hurdles to adoptionofEVs and in particular, the affordability of EVs compared to motor