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The death of Big Oil

Designing a building for 5+ years into the future can be tricky. The pace of change in the world today is astounding.

Last month Seth Miller published a Medium article called: This is how Big Oil will die. His argument is that the cost of running an electric self-driving vehicle will be so low – simpler technology and no labor cost – that the personal vehicle as we know it will come to an end. People are inevitably going to give up their cars, which will result in a peaking of oil consumption.

We’ve talked about this future many times before on the blog. But Miller’s argument ties it back to oil and also comes with a set of predictions taken from a report prepared by the consulting company RethinkX:

– Self-driving cars will launch around 2021.
– A private ride will be priced at 16¢ per mile, falling to 10¢ over time.
– A shared ride will be priced at 5¢ per mile, falling to 3¢ over time.
– By 2022, oil use will have peaked.
– By 2023, used car prices will crash as people give up their vehicles. New car sales for individuals will drop to nearly zero.
– By 2030, gasoline use for cars will have dropped to near zero, and total crude oil use will have dropped by 30% compared to today.

If all of these predictions prove to be true, then what should we be doing today to prepare our cities for this future?

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