The motor vehicle was very quick to replace horses in the early 20th century, and the advent of the electric car suggests that another profound shift in transportation and energy could be around the corner. This column projects how different rates of electric car adoption will effect oil demand and consumption over the next three decades. In a fast-adoption scenario, oil prices could converge to the level of current coal prices by the early 2040s. Even under a slow adoption scenario, oil could become obsolete before it is depleted. The imminent demise of oil as the world’s main energy source has been widely heralded since at least the 1950s, most famously by M King Hubbert in his ‘peak oil’ hypothesis (Hubbert 1956). Progress in oil extraction and continuing discoveries of new reserves, however, have brought this idea into question. In fact, as noted by Sheikh Zaki Yamani, a former […]