Electric cars slow the energy transition?

Electric Cars are being overtaken by new electric vehicles, which achieve c3x greater decarbonisation per unit of battery material. This metric matters if one believes that battery materials are a limiting factor in the energy transition. To illustrate our case, our new Excel-file models two scenarios…

In the first scenario, 400kg of battery materials can be used to produce 1 electric vehicle, which displaces 1 gasoline taxi. The calculations show that 28 bbls of oil-equivalent energy and 12T of CO2 emissions are avoided each year.

In the second scenario, 400kg of battery materials can be used to produce 120 electric scooters, which displace 2.5 gasoline taxis. The calculations show that 96bbls of oil-equivalent energy and 37T of CO2 emissions are avoided. I.e., the scooters achieve 3x more decarbonisation than the electric car.

Moreover,  our numbers above only assume that one-in-three scooter trips displaces a car-trip, while the other two-in-three are deemed to be “new demand”. Per mile travelled, the scooters achieve 9x more decarbonisation than putting the same 400kg of battery materials into the electric car.

Please download the data-file to interrogate our assumptions and stress-test your own scenarios. We argue the “electric revolution” goes beyond replacing today’s ground cars with electric ground cars. The opportunities are in new vehicle types.

Scooter Wars?

E-scooters can re-shape urban mobility, eliminating 2Mbpd of oil demand by 2030, competing amidst the ascent of “electric vehicles” and re-shaping urban economies.  These implications follow from e-scooters having 25-50x higher energy efficiencies, higher convenience and c50% lower costs than gasoline vehicles, over short 1-2 mile journeys. Our 12-page note explores the consequences.

Offshore Capex for Technology Leaders?

Technology leadership determines offshore capex. Specifically, this data-file measures a -88% correlation coefficient between different Major’s offshore patent filings in 2018 and their projects’ capex costs.

The details: We have tabulated the number of Offshore Patents filed in 2018, across 25 leading Majors, from our sample of 3,000 patents. We have also tabulated a dozen, recent, offshore greenfields operated by these companies, which were sanctioned in 2017-19. Investments from Aramco, BP, Equinor, Exxon, Petrobras, TOTAL and Shell are included.

The lowest-cost  projects are not “easy oil”. The most economical project in the entire sample, at $17M/kboed, has a complex gas cap with a risk of asphaltene precipitation.  Also in the ‘Top 5’ are an Arctic greenfield, an ultra-deepwater carbonate with unusually high-CO2 and an ultra-high pressure deep-water field. Economical development depends on leading technology.

To see the projects included in the analysis, please download the data-file…

Hydrogen Cars: how economic?

We have modelled the relative economics of hydrogen cars fed by renewable energy and hydrolysis of water, to assess whether they can be cost-competitive.

In our base case US assumptions, hydrogen is c85% costlier than gasoline. In Europe, all in costs of hydrogen can match gasoline cars with c20% deflation across the board, free renewable energy and c$75/bbl oil inputs.

The model breaks out full-cycle costs as a function of: oil prices, oil taxes, power prices, renewable prices, hydrolysis costs, carbon costs,  vehicle costs and capital costs. Download the model and you can flex these variables.

 

Aerial Vehicles: why flying cars fly

Aerial vehicles will do in the 2020s what electric vehicles did in the 2010s. They will go from a niche technology, to a global mega-trend that no forecaster can ignore.

These conclusions stem from a deep-dive analysis into the technology, the fuel economies and the costs, all of which will be transformational.

This 20-page written-insight summarises the evidence, reviewing over 100 different companies’ efforts, checking the equations of flight for leading concepts, and bridging to competitive costs. Aerial vehicles accelerate the energy transition.

Aerial Vehicles: Which Ones Fly?

We have compiled a database of over 100 companies, which have already flown c40 aerial vehicles (aka “flying cars”) and the number should rise to c60 by 2021.

Look through the data and you will likely share our conclusion that aerial vehicles will gain credibility in the 2020s, the way electric vehicles did in the 2010s.

Our database categorizes the top vehicle concepts by type, company, year-founded, company-size, company-geography, backers, fuel-type, speed, range, take-off weight, payload, year of first prototype, target commercial delivery date, fuel economy and required battery weights.

Some vehicle concepts are extremely impressive and credible; others may find it more challenging to meet the ranges promised at current battery densities…

A Short History of Travel Speeds

This is our database of global travel speeds throughout history. It contains notes on the top travel-speeds attainable by different forms of transportation; plus more granular data on the average travel speeds in Britain since the 1970s.

Top travel speeds have increased by c100x since pre-industrial times, however in the past 20-years, the trend has reversed and begun slowing down. Average travel speeds are down c6-7% since 2000, connoting lower mobility.

 

Vehicle Efficiency: Electrifying?

This data-file quantifies the energy efficiency of fourteen different transportation types, in mpg, miles per kWh and passenger miles per kWh.

“Efficiency” is calculated using an apples-to-apples methodology, comparing real-world fuel consumption to equations of mechanics (i.e., stop-starts and air resistance, per Tab 3 in the model).

Electrification generally offers a c4x efficiency gain, jumping from c15-20% on conventional oil-powered vehicles to c60-80% on electric vehicles. Hybrids and hydrogen also yield modest efficiency improvements.

Most exciting is the set of emerging, electric transportation technologies, which are faster than incumbents, yet also achieve 4-120x efficiency gains per passenger mile (chart below).

Our Top Technologies for IMO 2020

So far we have reviewed 450 patents in the downstream oil and gas industry (ex-chemicals). A rare few prompted an excited thought — “that could be useful when IMO 2020 comes around”.  Hence, this data-file summarises the top 25+ proprietary technologies we have seen to capitalise on the opportunity. They are summarised and “scored” by company.

We will also provide you with updates of this file, as we continue reviewing patents and technical papers.

Eni Slurry Technology. A leader for IMO 2020?

This data-file models the economics of Eni’s Slurry Technology, for hydro-converting heavy crudes and fuel oils into light products. It is among the top technologies we have reviewed for the arrival of IMO 2020 sulfur regulation, achieving >97% conversion of heavy fractions. The catalyst is stable and handles even ultra-heavy inputs. We see 10-20% IRRs at $20-40/bbl upgrading spreads. The data-file also summarises EST’s adoption in refineries to-date, future plans, and technical details of the EST process.