Source: Bloomberg Business Week, Illustration Matt Dorfman

Source: Bloomberg Business Week, Illustration Matt Dorfman

There's been a lot of noise this week surrounding cars and the future.  Since I've been working on a project that deals with people in the transportation world, I've also been thinking a lot about what the future of movement is.  It's interesting to think that part of the mental process of purchasing a new car now considers whether that investment bears out a future of driver-less or high-functioning electric cars and all of it signals an interesting evolution afoot.  

On a global scale, Bloomberg has put forward a compelling animation describing the impacts of the billions being spent by private industry on electric vehicle development.  At the moment, oil industry giants are largely remaining a highly skeptical mode, if not all-out denial, assuming electric cars will only account for 1% of vehicles by 2040.  However, as put forth by Bloomberg's staff, the actual rate of electric vehicle adoption versus oil consumption may put the shift in oil demand toward a downward trend closer to 2025 - 9 years away.  

The slow adoption of electric vehicles to date has made skeptics of many, however, Bloomberg cites a trend pattern called the S-curve as a potential paradigm shifting force for this segment of vehicles.  Slow initial adoption followed by product and infrastructural advancement leads to exponential growth - take the cell phone as a primary example.  The result of this shift will be a global decline in oil demand with a commensurate reapportioning of resources to places where non-fossil fuel (i.e. renewable) energy investment has been strongest.  Sure a good portion of vehicles will continue to be combustion-based, but that number will decrease and a big factor in the global economic system of resources will increasingly be upended favoring economies who have taken a long view on new energy development.  Check the animation and read more here.

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