Analyst Says Death Spiral Coming for Auto Industry, Will Have “Catastrophic” Effects on Big Oil


RethinkX, founded by Standford economist and industry analyst Tony Seba, has released a new report suggesting that the auto industry will be entering a death spiral over the next 15 years.

The report predicts that by 2030, 95% of people won’t own a private car, effectively killing the auto industry. It also predicts that electric vehicles will have a damaging effect on the global oil industry around the same time.

Seba, who holds an impressive track record of accurate guesses about technological disruptions, expands upon RethinkX’s predictions:

“By 2030, you probably won’t own a car, but you may get a free trip with your morning coffee. Transport-As-A-Service (TaaS) will use only electric vehicles and will upend two trillion dollar industries. It’s the death spiral for cars (and the oil industry)… We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history. But there is nothing magical about it. This is driven by the economics.”

Analyst Says Death Spiral Coming for Auto Industry, Will Have Catastrophic Effects on Big Oil

Seba goes on to predict that the number of passenger vehicles on the roads will drop from 247 million in 2020 to 44 million by 2030. TaaS will be so cheap, approximately four to ten times cheaper per mile than buying a new car, that millions will choose to stop driving.

As for the impact on the oil industry, Seba says the results are likely to be “catastrophic.” Seba says global oil demand will peak at around 100 million barrels per day by 2020 before it drops to 70 million barrels per day by 2030.

Obviously, these are just predictions, but as renewable energy sources and electric vehicles become cheaper and cheaper, these sorts of predictions start to seem less and less farfetched.