Gas prices are known for their tendency to raise and lower over the years, but now more than ever it seems possible that gas prices are down, and will stay down.
There are a fair amount of factors pointing to the this possibility. First, it’s important to consider why gas prices are as low as they currently are. This is up for debate, but most industry specialists agree that the last year’s low gas prices can be attributed to the fact that OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has purposefully lowered its prices in an attempt to upset the United States’ oil industry. When the US started increasing the fracking within its own boundaries, it threatened OPEC’s dominance over the industry and in response it priced out the US to the point that foreign oil was cheaper than domestic oil.
Despite the fact that this decision has removed US oil from the market, there won’t be a reduction of oil in the market that would potentially drive prices back up; the Iran Nuclear Agreement has made it possible for Iran to start pumping and exporting oil more than ever, flooding even more oil into the market and threatening to lower demand and prices even further. That means that oil prices could stay down for the next few years at least.
While the oil prices plateau at unusually low levels, it’s important to note that electric cars are reducing the demand for oil even further, and at an exponential rate. Countries with high populations and high pollution such as India and China are especially apt to take up EV technology; China’s auto industry is switching to electric power faster than any other industry, and considering they also have one of the largest consumer bases in the world, that’s going to have a huge impact on how much gasoline the country uses. Considering the rise of EVs as a sign of status (think Tesla) in more Western countries and the fact that it’s going to be as expensive to manufacture cars with internal combustion engines as it is to manufacture electric vehicles by 2022, this trend can only be expected to continue.
Indeed, electric vehicles are set to explode in popularity and accessibility in just a few years, and if gas prices remain low until that point due simply to Iran’s contribution to oil availability, it’s very possible that gas will never rise in price again; contrary to what many environmentalists and industry analysts believed might be an oil shortage crisis, we have entirely too much oil by the late 2020’s.
While market and economies can be expected to be hit hard, this change may also be a necessary step towards global peace; oil has been a creator of global aggression and conflict for decades now, and the environmental impact that it has on our atmosphere is likely to cause major natural disasters across the world. Islands are already beginning to disappear under rising sea levels, and famine is expected to be widespread if we’re not able to stop using fuel that pours CO2 into our atmosphere.
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