Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We test the Tesla Roadster--disruptive energy technology

A conservative institution, the international financier Deutsche Bank, is arguing that oil could hit $175 by 2016—a little more than six years out.

And that will give rise to disruptive energy technologies that will change the world, the bank says.

(Image: The Tesla Roadster, an example of the disruptive electric powered vehicle technology that will crush global oil demand? Credit: Tesla Motors.)

Deutsche bank has some credibility in oil prediction. Early last year, half a year before oil hit $147 a barrel, the bank predicted it would reach $150. Hmm.

We haven't been able to find the actual $175/gal report, but the Wall Street Journal has.

The fascinating thing about Deutsche Bank's prediction is that it also suggests that will help prompt a second peak—a peak in demand.

In essence, they're saying that the high pricing (in part) will crush demand so thoroughly and permanently that prices will drop by 2030 back to today's $70 range.

We've seen a little of this kind of activity in the year since last year's oil price peak. Demand for petroleum has dropped. Global oil stockpiles are high. Oil-fired electricity demand is down. Is it more the oil price peak, or more the recession, or a combination? Don't know. But the drop in demand is there.

The Journal cites the Deutsche Bank report as saying it expects the automotive industry to promote the disruptive technology that will help drive down petroleum demand. It's hybrid and electric cars.

“We expect [electric propulsion] will reverse the dynamics of world oil demand, and spell the end of the oil age,” the Journal quotes the report saying.

By coincidence, as I write this, I'm a few hours out of a test drive in an electric car.

It was the $109,000 Tesla Roadster.

It shatters all the stereotypes of an electric car as a glorified golf cart, as a short-range neighborhood vehicle, as something an order of magnitude less than sexy.

It was red.

It was low.

It was convertible.

It had a distinctly Lotus air about it.

It was all electric.

It was the hottest car I've ever driven.

Acceleration that pulls the flesh back off the bones of your face.

Speed, well, so let's just say it reaches with elan whatever is the posted speed limit.

It nicely held the road in corners.

It has no transmission. Electric motors don't need to shift.

And it has more than 200 miles of range on a single charge.

I don't know whether the folks at Deutsche Bank have driven the Tesla Roadster. If they have, I understand their prediction.

© Jan TenBruggencate 2009

1 comment:

Mauibrad said...

Saw one of these Tesla Roadsters in the Princeville Center parking lot. Did not know what it was, but it looked cool. Wow, that thing is a high-performance electric vehicle?