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‘No more petrol or diesel cars, buses, or trucks in 8 years time’

A Tesla Model S, which has 18 moving parts, one hundred times fewer than a combustion engine car. “Maintenance is essentially zero,” says Stanford University economist Tony Seba. “That is why Tesla is offering infinite-mile warranties. You can drive it to the moon and back and they will still warranty it.” PHOTO FINANCIAL REVIEW/Angel Navarrete

Australia| FINANCIAL REVIEW| No more petrol or diesel cars, buses, or trucks will be sold anywhere in the world within eight years. The entire market for land transport will switch to electrification, leading to a collapse of oil prices and the demise of the petroleum industry as we have known it for a century.

This is the futuristic forecast by Stanford University economist Tony Seba. The professor’s report, with the deceptively bland title Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030, has gone viral in green circles and is causing spasms of anxiety in the established industries.

Mr Seba’s premise is that people will stop driving altogether. They will switch en masse to self-drive electric vehicles (EVs) that are 10 times cheaper to run than fossil-based cars, with a near-zero marginal cost of fuel and an expected lifespan of 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometres).

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