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Nice dream.


Toyota released RAV4-EV SUV for Consumer Market in 1995...
The heart of the EV model is its 50kW permanent magnet motor and 24 nickel metal hydride batteries rated at 288 volts. The maintenance-free electric motor is neatly integrated into the single speed, front-wheel transaxle and is rated at 67 bhp at between 3,100 and 4,600 rmp. This gives the 3440 lbs. vehicle a combined city/highway driving range of 125 miles and a top speed of 78 mph. According to Armstock, these are "real world" numbers and not just wishful thinking.
FYI, the average american drives about 60 miles a day, so one charge is good for 2 day driving. The over-night charge will cost you about $3, it's about $0.024 per mile! Compare $2.3 per mile on gas ;).
The retail price of this car is $42,000.
The dream come true, why do we need hybrids, when we have the TECHNOLOGY?



Don't be so sure that no progress is happening. Check out the wind power graph in the 2011 entry.

5 years ago, if someone told you that Hybrids would be selling is sizable numbers by 2006-07, you would have denied that too.


Elements of this timeline may be off or even in different chronological order but it does not seem to rely on sci-fi or fantasy. If anything, due to its large scope and general focus on today's larger areas of energy usage (transportation and lighting) it leaves out the other influences on the energy market.

Computer systems which can, for a small outlay of electricity to an embedded processor, can put light and heat just where people need them at the right time are one such influence. Agricultural systems (indoor green houses at high pressure and elevated CO2 levels or ordinary outdoor systems with underground irrigation and fertilizer delivery systems) are another.

Continued urbanization will change the patterns of transportation energy use and make privately owned and automated mass transit for both people and materials possible and economical.

More sophisticated manufacturing will make the movements of parts, equipment and such over large distances far less necessary.

I do not understand why people seem to feel that humans can not solve problems especially when there is a huge financial incentive to do so. There seems to be some kind of fantasy that any day now Y2K will go off, the climate will collapse, a meteor will strike the earth and we will all be thrown back into the stone age just for the pleasure of having been the ones to have said "I told you so". I think it must be "Noah syndrome".



Let us do the math. The $42,000 electric car loses. $2.3 (using your number)cents per mile is about what a US A-l Abrams tank uses. Paying $42,000 for the electric car never pays for itself. If you use my number of 12.5 ($2.50 per gallon at 20 miles per gallon for an average car) cents per mile you still get $12,500 in savings for an electric free car which still does not work out as economical.


Hybrids are no longer rip roaring popular. The leading hybrid, the Toyota Prius no longer has a waiting list. You can walk into Toyota and drive out immediately with one off the lot. Ford has a hefty, choking inventory of hybrids.

The EPA has announced that the Prius does NOT get 60 mpg. I gets 35 mpg in real world driving according to the TV expose I watched. The EPA has been so embrassed that it is going to revise the mpg ratings downward very soon. Plenty of regular gas only vehicles do better than 35 mpg. Hybrids are hyped by Hollywood and pretty much out of touch with realty and overpriced. The GM plug in offering is pure hype and its lithium battery pack costs are over $100,000.

The Europeans use small diesels which are too smoggy for us. Get real, there is no vehicle revolution for the US (2010 : Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fully electrical cars represent 5% of total automobiles on the road in the US). California made laws mandating, zero emmission, electric cars long ago which never happened - more nice dreams.

None of my neighbors have energy saving light bulbs. I have priced them and they are expensive and the 3 that I used burned out quickly. (2007-09 : Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs and Light Emitting Diodes begin to replace incandescent bulbs across the US)- nice dream.

Wind and solarvoltaics are heavily government subsidized. The politics is heavy and the playing field is not level. There is a hugh tax break in California for solar.


The housing market is starting to decline as I predicted. Subprime mortgage derivatives are in meltdown (31% this month alone). Prime mortgage derivatives are in decline (7.5%) in one week.

Subprime lenders are imploding. 25% of mortgages in 2006 were subprime. Over $1 Trillion adjustible rate mortgages move out of their teaser rates and into their high interest rate portions of their mortgage, this year.

The deflationary depression is coming.



I have also said that Housing will decline, and the era of big gains is gone for a long time.

But I don't think this will lead to a 'deflationary depression'.

Plus, let's get back to the energy question. So you think there will be NO innovation between now and 2025?

The leading hybrid, the Toyota Prius no longer has a waiting list.

Maybe because..... they increased production? The sales rate has not dropped. There are more hybrid models now (Camry, etc.), not less.


Fischer-Tropf fuel is already beginning to replace crude in aviation fuel. Your timeline on that front is wayyy off if the scuttlebutt I'm hearing out of the Air Force is correct. (no cites, sorry)



I'm sorry but you speak nonsense. Why do you compare civil car to a military behemoth which pollutes as much as 10 cars and does merely 5 mile per gallon?
You can convert any gas vehicle to an electric one for $10,000 now, so if you buy a $300 used gas car, convert it to an electrical, and never need to change oil.
There is another part of it: the average car pollutes (in carbon) about 43g/Mj running on gas, the electric car (if charged from the electric grid powered by coal) pollutes 12g/Mj, and if it's charged from sollar or wind power, it pollutes 0g/Mj (well, there is pollution from producing the solar panel, wind generator, or the car itself, but it will bring the pollution number to 1-2g/Mj).
People say taht electrical cars are expensive, well... everybody wants an SUV and they pay $30,000 for one, can they add just $12,000 to that and save their grandkids health trouble? With $50,000 total payment, it will be about $300/month for 15 years, which will be about $13,500 in savings on gas, if you do about 60 miles a day and your car makes 20mpg. And over those 15 yeas you dont need to change oil ;), you also may install better batteries and improve your millage.

And then ask yourself: what is important for you, saving $500 driving a gas car and ruin the Earth atmosphere, or driving an electric car being $500 poorer and breath clean air? Remember, that if 200,000,000 Americans (USA is the #1 of Earth pollutants, if you didnt know) switch to electric cars, the north and south poles stop melting, less people will have asthma and less people will die from the lung cancer, are you ready to make the difference?



I have heard of that, but I do not think it replaces oil-based fuels for passenger jets, even by 2025, given the huge volumes needed. Replacing jet fuel is much harder than making passenger cars migrate to electricity.

So, it appears some people think the list is too optimistic, while others think it is too pessimistic. This could be a sign that it is close to the weighted average of expectations.



"Compare $2.3 per mile on gas ;)." That is about one mile per gallon - bs.



"You can convert any gas vehicle to an electric one for $10,000 now" - bs



"Remember, that if 200,000,000 Americans (USA is the #1 of Earth pollutants, if you didnt know) switch to electric cars, the north and south poles stop melting, less people will have asthma and less people will die from the lung cancer, are you ready to make the difference?"

Have you no common sense? There are about 3 Billion people in just 2 countries (China and India) compared to .3 Billion in the US. They have 10 times as many people. The pollution in these 2 is horrible and accelerating.

Urban Air Pollution Management
By Frannie A. Léautier

Urban air pollution is a serious problem worldwide. It is especially serious in the many mega-cities of Asia. The gravity of the urban air pollution problem is largely attributed to the complex and multi-sectoral nature of everyday air polluting activities as well as the inadequate actions of governments. The lack of actions by governments is further due to poor information and weak understanding of the air pollution problems and, in addition, lack of institutional capacity and coordination among government agencies in the various sectors contributing to air pollution. Driven by the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the international community is fighting global development problems including air pollution and other environmental problems.

Why care about air pollution?
The health impacts of air pollution are very serious and, currently, second only to the impacts of water and sanitation in urban areas. As shown in Figure 1, air pollution imposes a heavy burden on the health of urban populations throughout the developing world. Every year, there are an estimated 0.5-1 million premature deaths by air pollution worldwide.

Air pollution control
Because air pollution disproportionately and negatively affects the poor, the international development community is targeting air pollution as one of its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (in this case, Goal #7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability). The World Development Report 2003: Sustainable Development in a Dynamic World (World Bank 2003) identifies the impact of air pollution on the quality of life and links it to poverty reduction.

Urban air quality management
While the international community has recognized air pollution as one of the environmental problems that need to be resolved, solutions to air pollution, do not come easily, and results are not visible within the length of a political cycle.

Figure 2 shows that countries in Asia like China and India face extremely high pollution exposure levels that call for immediate action. This figure also shows that as economic development and income increase, air pollution exposure decreases. The pollution exposure in high-income countries is much lower, providing hope that solutions can be found.

The role of the international community
The international community should be committed to work together and assist countries to achieve development goals by assuming the following roles:

Advocacy role: Raising awareness and learning from past experience to leapfrog development.
Knowledge creation and sharing role: Exploring and documenting the relationship between policy, technical, institutional, and cultural aspects of pollution management.
Brokering role: Coordinating activities at local, regional and global levels and promoting public-private partnerships to resolve problems.
Financing role: Assisting the development and implementation of action plans to manage air quality in developing countries and cities.
Skills building role: Helping countries get the skills they need to effectively manage air quality problems through technical assistance, training programs, twinning arrangements, and site visits.

In addition, the international community can be advocates of and support sustainability of the private sector, and promote environmental, social, and corporate responsibility.

As for partnership programs that help countries enhance the capacities of collaboration among different stakeholders, the Cities Alliance formed in 1999—a partnership between the UN, Habitat, the World Bank, and others—provides examples of horizontal city-to-city cooperation maximizing development assistance from multi-laterals and bilaterals. Another example is The Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities, which was jointly launched in 2001 by the World Bank and ADB and other partners.
(Visit: www.citiesalliance.org and www.worldbank.org/

The World Bank uses a variety of tools to achieve its goal and focuses on 1) promoting information dissemination (e.g. Website, Open discussion list server); 2) providing air quality management training; and 3) developing pilot studies (diesel pollution reduction strategies for cities). By carrying out these activities, the World Bank promotes real actions and investments on the ground.

Frannie Léautier, Vice President, The World Bank Institute.

Based on keynote speech the author made at the Regional Conference on Better Air Quality in Asian and Pacific Rim Cities, Hong Kong, December 2002.

Lvovsky, Kseniya, Gordon Hughes, David Maddison, Bart Ostro, and David Pearce 2000. Environmental Costs of Fossil Fuels: A Rapid Assessment Method with Application in Six Cities, Environment Department Papers NO. 78, The World Bank.

IFC 2002. Developing Value: The Business Case for Sustainability in Emerging Markets, International Finance Corporation.

World Bank 1997. Clear Water, Blue Skies: China's Environment in the New Century, The World Bank.

World Bank 2003. World Development Report 2003: Sustainable Development in a Dynamic World, The World Bank.

Books available at: http://publications.worldbank.org/ecommerce


It is true that China's greenhouse gas emission rate is rapidly closing in on that of America, and will surpass America in about 5 years. China consumes 4 times as much energy to produce one unit of GDP as the US.

But the environuts are usually just anti-Americans, who will drop this issue once China becomes a bigger polluter than the US.


The Futurist,

India will not be far behind. The combination of China and India probably already has left the US in the dust.



India is about half that of China, as there are a lot fewer cars. China is still a little bit behind the US in pollution creation, but will overtake us soon.



> "Compare $2.3 per mile on gas ;)." That is about one mile per gallon - bs.

You've missread everything I wrote - that's for gas vehicles, not electric ones. Please, read the post carefully before saying bad words ;)

> "You can convert any gas vehicle to an electric one for $10,000 now" - bs

Read this:

"So where does this leave us? Converting a gas car to electric can cost between $5,000 to $7,000 to do it yourself or $10,000 to 20,000 to have a conversion shop do it for you. If you compare this to the price of a new car today, EVs can be cost-competitive."


"How much will it cost?

The least expensive conversion I know of was done for $1,500. This was a 72 volt, 12 horsepower, Yugo conversion, and many would say, a poor example. While it is certainly a reasonable commuter car, it would never be considered a performance car. Most conversions are done for $4,000 to $6,000. When more "goodies" are added, the more the cost goes up. It also depends on how much repair work the donor car needs."


Good Info:

Eat this! :D

> Have you no common sense? There are about 3 Billion people in just 2 countries (China and India) compared to .3 Billion in the US. They have 10 times as many people.

China and India didnt reach yet the economical height when people are driving cars - when it happens in 5-7 years, this planet will be cooked. Dont count people, count huosehold cars and amount of factories.


The tributaries of the Amazon have enough hydro-potential to power the ENTIRE world's energy needs... ALL FORMS.


It's just a design-build project. Not much new technolgy needed.

To repeat: Andian heights + Amazonian reflux = God's natural solar energy collector: a million square miles across.

TVA/ BPA writ large solves everything FOREVER.

We could start tomorrow.


"So, it appears some people think the list is too optimistic, while others think it is too pessimistic. This could be a sign that it is close to the weighted average of expectations"

Yep. That's usually a very, very good sign.


I started converting my old Saturn into an electric car, why dont you? ;)

Stop being an oil junkie ;)



Keep us posted on the total number of hours and expenses.

Rich Casebolt

Yes, keep us posted ...

... on how much mileage you get from the batteries before they are worn out from the severe cycling and require replacement ...

... and how much it costs to replace them ...

... and how battery performance degrades at low temperatures.

I could use the data.

I made a good bit of my living in the 1990's by designing test equipment for EV/hybrid and other advanced battery systems.

Today I design battery systems -- both the packs themselves, and the associated chargers -- that use the most advanced cell technologies available for "real world" (as opposed to lab experiment) use ... and even then, my customer base is much less cost-sensitive than the typical automobile owner/leasee.

What holds EV's and hybrids back (and believe me, I would welcome pure EV's ... maybe then I could go back to working on my own car!) is NOT greed or a lack of investment ... but the nexus between the laws of physics and the laws of economics.

Ignore that nexus, and you may divert resources from more cost-effective environmental-protection pursuits by chasing an elusive ghost.

Always keep in mind that economic prosperity allows one to concern themselves more with protecting the environment ... as opposed to concerning themselves about where their next meal and rent money is coming from.


Hate to not talk about hybrids (not!).
I saw a chart produced by Lawrence Livermore Labs on US energy consumption by from source to use ( http://eed.llnl.gov/flow/02flow.php ). Approx 3/4ths of our electrical generation is spent on transmission loss. I almost cried when I read your energy predictions and did not see superconducting transmission lines listed. I have not heard anything about high temp superconductors for about about ten years. Any hope on that front?



I read that carbon nanotubes can achieve superconductor properties under some circumstances. But it seemed inconclusive, and I don't think it will happen by 2030.


High Temperature Super (HTS) Conductors are now in commercial production.

The number one manufacturer is projecting economic crossover vs copper by 2010. (Greg Yurek, American Superconductor Corporation -- ASC... Massachusetts.)

Current applications are directed at substations at medium voltages -- 2k to 35k volts.

ASC is shipping 22kM of cable to South Korea... ASC is building a prototype superconducting motor for US Navy use. ASC is shipping a HTS SuperVAR capacitor to the TVA.


Most of the above predictions will be completely under cut by the rapid expansion of Compressed Natural Gas powered heat engines.

CNG is already commercially viable. Honda is in production with CNG automobile this model year.

The re-allocation of natural gas away from stationary prime movers will effectively eliminate most oil imports.

Alaska has staggering natural gas deposits that seem to have escaped the common memory. All that is necessary is to pipe them to the lower states. I'd favor an undersea route that lays atop the continental shelf, wrapping around Alaska towards California. I'd be an automated lay much in the manner of telecommunications cables.

Sad to say the problem is solved without exotics.

And of the Amazon?

Hydrolyse the headwaters and pump hydrogen gas worldwide via undersea piping. Again, just follow the continental shelves and deploy from a mother ship.

Apparently the staggering hydro-potential of Peru is just too much to comprehend/ accept. It is orders of magnitude larger than the hydro-potential of North America. Yup, just that much rain. Enough to pick up all the electric demand of the entire hemisphere... the rest of the world... and still have enough left over to establish the hydrogen economy.

No other tricks are necessary. The cost per joule will be rock bottom... and drive all other energy extraction methods into limbo.



That would be very good. But I am not THAT optimistic.


First they'd need a government that could handle said business realities, and a blessed lack of machete-wielding nutcases chopping people up in Mao's name...


China is WAY "ahead" of the US in most kinds of pollution creation, and has been for some time.

Just not yet CO2 Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Sulpheric acid rain, toxic river and waterways polution, smog generally, uncontrolled chemical waste disposal - all way "ahead" of the US today.


I plan on making a practical hovercraft within 20 years. I predict it will take another 20 years for it to become widely used among civilion population.

Vasudev Vashistha ( Chief Executive Er. )

The world economy is being controlled by oil producing countries and their unity. The second power of the world is Auto Vehicles Manufacturers in the world. If all the manufacturers can join together and make a strong association globaly, the same controlling power would be transferred to end user of vehicles. It means in the hand of public. The probleme of pollution and other economy would be controlled and solved automatically. Let the loby of OPEC and other oil producers should be weakend. The type of vehicles required to manufacture by using the gasoline or any other form of fuel should be decided by looking the easy availability in the future and should be fixed same for the fixed period along with the scope of new research by the combined efforts of the manufacturers. Let the great people of great countries should be blessed by the GOD to join each other and take one decision do some thing really good for the world.Rest all related problems would be automatically solved.
Vasudev Vashistha

M. Simon

Here is a prospect you left out in your near term (next 25 years) time line:

Easy Low Cost No Radiation Fusion
Bussard Fusion Reactor

Brian H

M. Simon;
See your Bussard, and raise you FocusFusion, 10-12 years, .1-.2¢/kwh. So ~2018, 2020. 5 GW reactors @$200,000. Performance of development rigs to date: millions of times closer to breakeven.

moving quotes

I think your time line is very down to earth, our consumption getting higher and more and more cars are hitting the road, the result is a massive search for solutions. I believe that together with your suggestions, more surprising solutions will evolved. Thanks for the interesting post.

chanel 2.55

5 years ago, if someone told you that Hybrids would be selling is sizable numbers by 2006-07, you would have denied that too.

Victor Wetherbee

At least, he got the 2010 prediction right! Almost every car manufacturer across the globe (not just Japan or US) is trying its best to materialize electric and hybrid concepts and release them to the market with almost 0% flaw.


2007 : China's greenhouse gas emissions surpass that of the US. China requires 4.3 times as much energy as the US to produce each dollar of GDP.

Status: True.

2007-09 : Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs and Light Emitting Diodes begin to replace incandescent bulbs across the US. By 2010, the typical US household is saving over $100 per year in electricity costs.

Status: true. 53% of all lighting is now LEDs. We've actually seen a flattening of the growth curve for generation due to LED penetration. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh (compared to no LED use) of electricity: This is the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants (1 GW each), and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today's electricity prices. The estimate is the U.S. is currently savings $20 billion a year.

2007-10 : Corn-based ethanol continues to generate only a small percentage of vehicle fuel in the US, despite the governmental support behind it.

Status: True. biofuels (as anyone familiar with elementary math could have told you) have been a bust. We are producing 16 billion gallons of biofuels in 2018. We are consuming 142.86 billion gallons of gasoline alone. Adding diesel, maybe 190 billion gallons. So < 10% is biofuels.

2009 : The Automotive X-Prize of $25 Million (or more) is successfully claimed by a car designed to meet the 100 mpg/mass-producable goal set by the X Prize Foundation.

Status: true. Awarded in September 2010.

2010 : Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fully electrical cars represent 5% of total new automobiles sold in the US, even if tax incentives have been a large stimulus.

Status: Didn't happen by 2010. Just 3% of US auto sales last year were of cars electric or hybrid. That’s down from a peak of 4% in 2013. we may have surged to 5% in 2018, and probably we are going to start seeing robust growth. But fracking has so reduced the price of oil, hybrids and electric just didn't take off as fast.

2011 : Thousands of wind turbines have been erected across Alaska, Canada, Russia, and the northern waters of Europe by now. Some European countries now derive over 25% of their electricity from wind.

Status: Hard to say. "Some European countries" getting 25% from wind would be an awfully short list. Denmark with 39%. Portugal gets 18%, Spain 16%, Ireland 14%. There does seem to be a topping out of wind generation at 10-15%, mainly due to reliability issues.

2012 : Cellulostic ethanol technology becomes cost-effective and scalable.... Biomass-derived fueling stations finally begin to find their way into most US population centers, but still displace only 15-20% of US gasoline consumption.

Status: nope. Victim of the shale revolution, but also, we still can't seem to get cellulosic ethanol to work efficiently.

2012 : New oil extraction technologies continue to exert downward pressure on oil prices, resulting in a continual tussle between biomass fuel and oil-derived fuel for cost competitiveness. All of this is bad news for oil-producing dictatorships.

Status: Massively true. Shale has outperformed all expectations, and has crushed dictatorships around the world. Unfortunately it has also crushed hybrids, and other replacement technologies to a certain extent.

2013 : Tesla Motors releases a fully electric 4-door sedan that is available for just $40,000, which is only 33% more than the $30,000 that the typical fully-loaded gasoline-only V6 Accord or Camry sells for in 2013.

Status: Not true, but....they did do it in 2018. So the prediction is right, but the timeline is off 5 years.

2014 : Solar panels have become inexpensive enough for a typical house in California or Arizona to financially break even in under 5 years after installation, even after accounting for the cost of capital. Over 3 million US single-family homes have solar panels on their rooftops by now, and many of these homes are able to charge up their plug-in hybrids or fully electric vehicles entirely free of cost.

Status: Still not true. Payback in California is 9 years, Arizona 10 years. As the cost of the panel has declined, the remaining costs have not. Panel costs are now a minority of total system costs, and further declines are not moving the needle as much. However, Tesla has declared 2019 the Year of the solar roof. Only 1.3 million homes currently have solar, about half this estimate.

2015 : As predicted in early 2006 on The Futurist, a 4-door sedan with a 240 hp engine, yet costing only 5 cents/mile to operate (the equivalent of 60 mpg of gasoline), is widely available for $35,000.

Status: True by 2019 (4 years late). Tesla cost per mile works out to 4.4 cents.

2016 : Large industrial-grade solar panels, enhanced with nanotechnology, achieve unprecedented conversion rates of solar energy to electricity. The US has completed the construction of major solar farms in California, Nevada, and Arizona, collectively covering hundreds of square miles of desert land.

Status: true. But....

2016: 10% of world electricity demand is now met through photovoltaics.

Status: false. Currently at 1.8%, but climbing.

2018 : Among new cars sold, gasoline-only vehicles are now a minority.

Status: Not true, yet. I can see this happening by 2030.

2020 : Gasoline fuels under one third of the passenger car miles driven in the US. Electricity and biomass fuels account for the remaining two-thirds, with electricity being the one crowding the other two out (electricity itself is primarily derived through solar, wind, and nuclear sources by now). US total oil consumption, in barrels, has decreased only somewhat, however, due to commercial airline flights (which still use petroleum-derived fuels). At the same time, oil consumption in relation to total US GDP is actually under half of what it was in 2007.

Status: not going to happen.

Remaining predictions: We could still get back on track and meet this timeline - things do appear recently to be accelerating in that direction.

"Is this timeline too optimistic? I found this research report from Clean Edge that goes out to 2016, and they project that renewable energy industry revenue will grow by 15% a year from 2006 to 2016."

It appears to have been a little optimistic. I think, overall, the fracking revolution has had a much more profound and multifaceted impact than anyone realized. Cheap oil and gas have slowed adoption speeds for several of these technologies. Tesla, who a lot of these predictions relied on to perform, stumbled a bit, and was perhaps a bit too optimistic in their own projections.

Kartik Gada


Solar panels (2014) : Yes, the other costs held up the diffusion, even though PV now is much cheaper than existing grid electricity from PG&E, etc.

Status: True by 2019 (4 years late). Tesla cost per mile works out to 4.4 cents.

Actually, that prediction was not just for EVs. The Honda Accord Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid of 2015 was pretty close to these specs.

On ordinary hybrid cars (such as the Toyota Prius), I had thought that technology would merely get commoditized and included in most cars. Instead, it seems that EVs are merely cannibalizing ordinary hybrids at this point, and not breaking into the other 96% of sales that are fully ICE with no Prius-like hybrid technology.


Tesla's cars weren't needed to hit these numbers.


Yeah it is interesting. The future ebbs and flows, swirls, backs up, then surges forward. Your timeline could have happened exactly as predicted. Technically I don't think there was any barrier.

The biggest wild card turned out to be fracking - if oil was still $110/barrel, is gasoline was at $4/gallon, if natural gas was at $10 mcf, all of this would have happened exactly as you predicted. But the same forces of the ATOM that push forth electric cars and solar cells also push forward fracking technology.

The ATOM solves the problem (high energy costs), but it solves it with a dozen solutions all at once, attacks it from every possible direction. Once one attack succeeds, it pulls back on all the other avenues forward.

I think Tesla is going to succeed despite being electric, not because of it. People are liking the autopilot, the style, the simplicity. Gas prices are just not that big a factor for most consumers. Fortunately I can see electric vehicles continuing to drop in price, at least another 30%. Once they are $25k....? And I see big cities mandating them to cut air pollution.

Soalr power? Musk is promising solar shingles. If you integrate the power generation into a roof product, and the entire package is only 20% more costly than an non-powered roof, it could take off. In such a case the power becomes an added feature.

I tell people that the fracking story is far from over. Fracking 2.0, or 3.0 is going to happen. We could see drilling costs drop an order of magnitude (imagine production costs at $15/barrel for fracked wells), and see fracking spread around the globe. Currently I don't see a hard limit on how much oil and gas we can ultimately produce, or a hard deadline for when we run out. It exists, at least theoretically. But the data is pretty murky on when it might happen, and it seems unlikely that will be the driver going forward.



Look at the graphs. Average crude oil prices are projected at $70 out to 2030. Who would have predicted that? That is extraordinary - during that entire time demand will be rising. So oil prices will not drive solar cells or electric cars. They will be adopted when they provide additional benefits over and above the non electric versions, better roofing that lasts longer, looks better, and ALSO generates electricity. Cars that are faster, drive themselves, and ALSO run on electricity. It will be an "an also" adoption curve. Those curves tend to be very flat for a long time, then explode when the added feature becomes a trivial add-on cost to what you were going to buy anyway. Like TVs with remotes, or phones with cameras.

I think for a long time we assumed oil production would be a bell curve, but it is looking a lot more like an S curve.

Kartik Gada


It is surprising that fracking still has not been able to manifest in countries outside the US. From Canada to China, they all want fracking, but factors ranging from mineral rights to technological expertise has held it up.

If even one more country manages to do it, oil will find an even lower ceiling it cannot break above.

Solar shingles : Yes, this could mitigate the net cost, as it is part of construction itself.

I have long wondered why the notion of PV roads and parking lots has not manifested. It is available surface area, and car weight should not be a problem.


PV roads have been tried and failed. Three reasons, cost, grit, and shade.

Cost - why don't they just pave with concrete rather than asphalt? Concrete is harder and more durable. Answer: asphalt is much cheaper, and infinitely recyclable (old asphalt is scraped up, re-melted, and reused). It costs out to be a much cheaper solution. Asphalt is, more or less, the junk left over from refining oil. It is akin to a waste product of another process. Concrete is much more expensive to make.

For PV roads to work the surface must be clear and clean - not something a road usually is. Grit scratching the surface of the overlying glass, prevents solar for getting to the buried panels.

Last at least for parking lots, they are in theory used during the mid-day, and hence largely shaded.

A roof over a parking structure avoids all these problems.

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