Sunday, October 9, 2016

What Will Come to Pass

By the end of last week, there was this bit of news which might have great affect upon Germany.  Based on acts done at the climate conference, the talk is now that by 2030 (14 years away), the new market for gas and diesel engine cars will end, period.  It'll be strictly electrical/battery-powered cars sold on the new market at that point.  Trucks and buses are exempt.....in fact, I kinda doubt that we will ever get either to a stage where they can be removed from the market.

The scene on 1 January 2030?  One might sit and imagine what happens.

You walk into a new car lot, and there won't be a single gas or diesel powered car there.  Used-car lots?  There will be plenty of action and still an active market.

Gas stations?  My humble guess is that in a year or two....most major gas station owners in Germany will quietly meet and start a plan to "dump" their stations or run them via out-of-country partners....to lessen the impact upon them at the end.   You see....if you have a gas station which is permanently shut down.....you have to dig up the tanks and that cost is upon the owner.  I think you will see a lot of foreign partners brought in and assume the position....which they can simply walk away from later.

My guess is that you will already start to see by 2025 a quarter of the stations around Germany shutting down.  In the more rural areas where you might have five stations within a 25-mile circle....it'll probably go down to just one or two stations.  On the autobahn?  They might remain at the same number for a fairly long period, even after 2030.

Pressure is now applied to the public....that you will have no real choice.  And as the market decreases for fuel and makes it more difficult to get gas.....you will simply be forced via another angle to comply with the agenda.

Used gas cars?  I think there will be a market for these cars for another thirty years as a lot of people just don't believe in the battery-powered car business.

The electric grid?  Oddly, you just don't see anyone doing analysis to say what happens to the power structure.  There are 61-million cars registered in Germany today.  What if 50-million were battery-powered?  Could the grid handle them?  What of the cost for charging up 50-million cars every single night?  Is there simply enough power?

I brought this up to my German wife and asked if we'd have three charging stations (1,700 Euro to get the station that does the four-hour charge versus roughly 500 Euro for the 30-hour charger)....would she as the landlord pay for this?  She suggested that she'd just have one charger but I doubt would make the two renters happy.

Will urban dwellers even have stations for apartment renters?  In the city of Wiesbaden (280,000), you can figure that 25,000 live in apartments which have no dedicated parking spots so they'd have no place to park the car and get charged.  No one has yet spoken to this issue and how you'd invent parking spots and run power to the spots.

A change in society?  A lot of people use cars for short trips (300 km in a weekend) to some hotel deal or conference.  The issue will be that once you arrive at the hotel or conference in question....will you be able to recharge?  If there are 300 people at the conference and only 40 chargers?  I doubt that most hotels will offer up more than a dozen charger units (which you will have to pay for).....for 150-odd rooms.  At 3AM, you might have to get up to see if you get now find a free charger to get your car charged for 10AM check-out.

I don't see this running that smoothly.  From 2030 to 2040.....I see as a pretty chaotic period and a lot of frustrations settling upon most Germans.  The clean living crowd may think that they've spent time thinking about this and planning this all out.....but I would suggest otherwise.

2 comments:

Jess Short said...

Not only that, one has to think about how much lithium, cobalt and nickel has to be removed from the earth to produce batteries. Going electric is all well and good, however, the battery technology just isn't there.
Maybe the government thinks we can power them with dilithium crystals, or a simple flux capacitor.

R Hammond said...

Well, this is just me the investor speaking....but whoever has mining for lithium, nickel and cobalt....is set to make a ton of money in fifteen years if you invest into those operations. Just like the guy who owns gas stations will lose every penny of investment.