Last Friday, the U.S. rig count marked its 22nd consecutive week of increases, with rigs drilling for oil matching that record. That’s the longest streak since 1987 (we haven’t had time to check our 1949-1987 records). Will the weakening of oil prices end this streak, or have oilfield economics changed sufficiently that it could go on forever? We just returned from nine days touring Tibet, which opened out eyes to how a poor but tradition-rich country is slowly being absorbed by China – its “liberator” of some 50 years ago.
The upcoming parliamentary elections in Norway, the world’s leader in EVs, will feature political debate over the cost of the government’s electrification of its auto fleet efforts. Scaling back subsidies could create another Denmark, where EVs could barely be given away following the elimination of their subsidies. Even in China, the spiritual leader for EVs, buyers/owners are questioning their performance and economic value, while also trading back to internal combustion engine cars. The cost of the battery-pack of a Chevy Bolt accounts for more than half of their subsidized $30,000 price tag. Herein lies the conundrum for EVs – without cheaper batteries, subsidies can’t be dropped, and without subsidies, EVs quickly become expensive cars. The logistics of a trip half way across America in a Bolt is explored, showing another challenge for EVs.