Saudi energy minister compares electric vehicle ‘hype’ to peak oil misconceptions

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih on Monday questioned what he described as the “hype” of the electric vehicle market at the CERAWeek energy summit. (AFP)
Updated 15 October 2018

Saudi energy minister compares electric vehicle ‘hype’ to peak oil misconceptions

  • Khalid Al-Falih on Monday questioned what he described as the “hype” of the electric vehicle market
  • Compared it to past misconceptions around the theory of peak oil

LONDON: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih on Monday questioned what he described as the “hype” of the electric vehicle market and compared it to past misconceptions around the theory of peak oil.
He told the CERAWeek energy gathering by IHS Markit in New Delhi that petrol and diesel engines would co-exist with emerging electric and hydrogen fuel cell technologies for much longer than widely expected.
Miscalculations around the pace of electrification could create “serious” risks around global energy security, he said.
“Conventional vehicles today, despite all the hype, represent 99.8 percent of the global vehicle fleet. That means electric vehicles with 0.2 percent of the fleet, only substitute about 30,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent of a total global oil demand of about 100 million barrels.
“Even if those numbers increase by a factor of 100 over the next couple of decades, they would still remain negligible in the global energy mix.”
He said: “History tells us that orderly energy transformations are a complex phenomenon involving generational time frames as opposed to quick switches that could lead to costly setbacks.”
In another broadside aimed at electric vehicles, the Saudi energy minister highlighted past misconceptions about global energy demand growth — and specifically the notion of “peak oil.”
“I remember thought leaders within the industry telling us that oil demand will peak at 95 million barrels per day. Had we listened to them and not invested . . . imagine the tight spot we would be in today.”
“Let’s also remember that in many parts of the world, roughly three fourths of the electricity, which would also power electric vehicles, is currently generated by coal, including here in India. So you could think of any electric vehicle running in the streets of Delhi as essentially being a coal-powered automobile.”
“When it comes to renewables, the fundamental challenge of battery storage remains unresolved — a factor that is essential to the intermittency issue impacting wind and solar power. Therefore the more realistic narrative and assessment is that electric vehicles and renewables will continue to make technological and economic progress and achieve greater market penetration — but at a relatively gradual rate and as a result, conventional energy will be with us for a long, long time to come.”


Oman warns private sector to prepare for conditions to deteriorate as coronavirus hits global economy  

Updated 34 min 42 sec ago

Oman warns private sector to prepare for conditions to deteriorate as coronavirus hits global economy  

  • Oman called on business to take precautionary measures to tackle the Covid-19 crisis until mid-June
  • The coronavirus pandemic hammered the world economy, cementing economists’ views of a deep global recession

DUBAI: Oman warned companies in the private sector to prepare for conditions to deteriorate economically and to take precautionary measures to tackle the Covid-19 crisis until mid-June.
The Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) said in a statement that companies should take precautions when making decisions regarding their financial forecasts, calculating financial flows, Times of Oman reported. 
“Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry expresses its gratitude and appreciation to the private sector, individuals and institutions for their interaction, interest, national sense, and their rapid response by providing all support and assistance to face the current crisis that the country is going through,” an OCCI statement said.
Business activity collapsed from Australia, Japan and Western Europe to the United States at a record pace in March as measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic hammer the world economy, cementing economists’ views of a deep global recession.
The highly contagious coronavirus, which causes a respiratory illness called COVID-19, has caused entire regions to be placed on lockdown and in some places soldiers are patrolling the streets to keep consumers and workers indoors, halting services and production and breaking supply chains.