Promoting Electric Cars Can Be Very Expensive, Says BP’s Spencer Dale


Promoting Electric Cars Can Be Very Expensive, Says BP’s Spencer Dale

India should push two-wheelers and three-wheelers among electric vehicles and encourage use of natural gas for cars since promoting electric cars can be very expensive, the group chief economist of British oil and gas company BP has said.

“Electrification of two- or three-wheeler vehicles is something that can be done very cheaply, easily. It’s where technology and battery swaps could happen and that’s a very significant part of oil demand,” BP’s Spencer Dale said.

Motorbikes and three-wheelers serve India in a big way in daily transportation and account for a big share in the country’s oil demand, unlike in the West where commuters depend largely on private cars besides public transport.

“The challenges associated with very rapid growth of electric cars is very significant. They are expensive,” Dale said. Quoting a research paper, he said, the total subsidy on an electric car in China is $20-25,000 while fitting a car with compressed natural gas (CNG) kit costs as low as $300-400. He said he saw more role for CNG in cars and trucks.

BP Energy Outlook, published by the company, has forecast the number of electric vehicles on road to rise from 3 million now to 300 million by 2040 but doesn’t expect it to be a game changer and hurt oil demand.

It has forecast India’s natural gas production to double and consumption to treble in 20 years. India’s import of crude oil, currently about 80% of its requirement, will rise further in the future as local production will not be able to keep pace with consumption growth, Dale said. Read More

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