OPEC and Big Oil thought they had 50 years. At best they have a decade
OPEC, Russia and Big Oil thought they had half a century to prepare for the end of the internal combustion engine. At best they have a decade before the threat turns deadly serious.
The twin announcement by France and Britain — within two weeks of each other — to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 is an earthquake in the energy world.
Others are moving in parallel. A non-binding resolution of the German Bundesrat has called for a prohibition by 2030. Norway already has such a target by 2025 and the catalytic effect is spectacular: sales of electric vehicles (EVs) reached 42 per cent of all cars in July.
China’s new plan stipulates that zero-emission vehicles must make up 8 per cent of total sales next year, rising to 10 per cent in 2019, and 12 per cent in 2020. This is an even bigger earthquake. Those German and Japanese manufacturers that do not yet produce EVs – or not enough – face being shut out of the world’s largest car market.