How soon will electric vehicles make a significant dent in oil demand?

Khalid Al-Falih may be right when he claims the oil industry has nothing to fear from electric vehicles (EVs).

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister unsurprisingly is a robust defender of the internal combustion engine (ICE). Contrary to the views of Tesla Inc.’s headline grabbing founder Elon Musk, the kingdom’s top energy official expects the conventional gasoline powered road vehicle to remain the bedrock of passenger road transport for generations to come.

“Today 6.5 billion people live in the developing world,” said Khalid Al-Falih, in his opening speech at the International Energy Forum in Riyadh last week. “This will rise to 8.5 billion by 2020. The reality is the dream for many of these individuals is to buy a motorbike, then a car. Given the issues of competitive products, these are unlikely to be electric vehicles.”

Of course, Al-Falih has a vested interest dispelling concerns over peak oil demand despite global climate change concerns.

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