IEA’s Birol ‘doesn’t buy’ that electric cars will displace oil

By Anna Hirtenstein on 11/3/2016

PARIS (Bloomberg) -- International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol said he doesn’t buy the argument that electric cars will cause oil demand to peak.

“The oil demand growth is not coming from cars, it’s from trucks, aviation and the petrochemical industry, and we don’t have major alternatives to oil products there,” Birol said at a conference on Thursday in Paris. “I don’t buy the argument that electric cars alone will cause a peak in oil demand, at least in the short and medium term.”

Batteries have the potential to “tip the oil market from growth to contraction earlier than anticipated,” Fitch Ratings reported Oct. 18. “The narrative of oil’s decline is well rehearsed—and if it starts to play out there is a risk that capital will act long before” and in the worst case result in an “investor death spiral.”

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