With more of us all switching to electric vehicles, it comes to no surprise that peak oil demand willl take place in the next few years. To be more precise, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released this week a study on how electrification of cars and other vehicles will drive peak oil demand by the end of the decade. And what next is somewhat exciting :
” Based on the current trajectory, the amount of oil needed to power cars, vans and trucks will roughly halve between now and 2050, leaving close to 20 million barrels a day of demand in play. “
However, BNEF only mentions electric cars and trucks as an alternative to regular vehicles. Cycling and public transportation are just non-existent on their take and I find that flabbergasting. While they have merits over their petrol equivalents (lower energy consumption), electric cars won’t solve the gridlocks and traffic jams pictured above. Electric cars won’t end urban sprawl, nor will they get people out of obesity.
EVs these days make me think of the absolute idiocy of having larger and larger vehicles while families are shrinking and gas is costing more and more. What the world needs is much smaller cars, and most EVS these days are massive wankpanzers.
Where are all the Renault Twizys ? Where are the small carbon fiber electric cars the Rocky Mountain Institute was advocating for a decade ago ? I can understand that sometimes we do need cars. But why do they all have to be so big these days ?
Additionally, there are so many excellent reasons to just say “goodbye and good riddance” to the personal vehicle boondongle, here are just three :
1. Driving cars costs a lot to the communities, Everytime one of us drives it costs the city or the state money. Additionally, owning a car comes at such a high personal cost : 10,000 USD on average in the US and around 4,500 € in France. That’s why I don’t own one personally. I carshare, I take transit, I walk. It seems I am not the only one if The Atlantic is to be bellieved : Can America Go Car-Free? Gen Z Hopes So.
2. Our cities and suburbias are running out of space and we just keep on spreading them on valuable land that would better be kept as forests or arable land. Urban planning is completely fubar in North America and Europe is trying to emulate this. We once had dense cities with parks. Now we have urban sprawl and parking lots…
3. Electric bikes are booming all around the world and switching to them for short trips would improve healthcare, save billions of dollars in gas – and thus slashing demand for gas even faster. The only thing necessary for a massive adoption of bikes and e bikes are comprehensive cycling infrastructure in our cities. Not just bike paths, but also safe parking.
The covid lockdowns and “coronapistes” (covid bike paths) in Paris and elsewhere in France have shown how fast cycling can become part of the norm. I blogged about this in March. Your city should be next as we all desperately need to move out of the one-car-fits-all mentality… I make this the 9th way we could save our climate (and ourselves). What do you think ?
Image credits : Jacek Dylag on Unsplash.