The Economist is running a leader on the future of the car industry.
It argues that the world will have 3 bn cars in 2050, as compared to 700 m cars today. China alone will have nearly as many cars as the entire world today.
Based on current projections, the world will have around 9 bn people in 2050, and China's population will be only slightly higher than today.
So those numbers would imply that worldwide, there would be 1 car for every three people (i.e. more than one car per household), and in China, there would be 1 car for every two people (roughly as many as in Western Europe today).
Apart from the (IMHO) rather unrealistic implied assumption that car ownership will soon begin to skyrocket in places like Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh and North Korea, there is one glaringly obvious problem:
Based on today's technologies, the world will struggle to keep the current 700 m cars fueled much earlier than 2050. Quadrupling that number will be totally impossible based on fossil fuels of any kind.
If electric cars do take off, the question is only shifted to power generation: How can the world possibly hope to create so much electric power to sustain both other uses of electricity (presumably also growing fast in the much richer world envisaged by The Economist), and 3 bn cars?
It's a ridiculous pipe dream, in my very humble opinion.
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