Experts predict a slow climb in oil prices that could see a gallon of regular gas cost much more than Americans have become accustomed to. As of this writing, international crude oil prices hover just under $85, and experts believe the cost will grow. For automakers, it could be the boost electric cars need.
Bloomberg reported Wednesday that oil’s slow rise in price may be just what electric cars require to get more Americans behind the wheel of them. Fuel prices in the U.S. have reached a four-year high and oil’s continued climb—perhaps back to 2008 levels—could spur electric car sales. The price of oil reached $103 per barrel in 2008.
Many automakers have electric cars coming, which most will sell at a loss. However, their introduction could simply turbocharge the market and create a real demand for zero-emission vehicles. Demand for electric cars and hybrids is still relatively low in general, but in the second quarter of this year, sales increased 77 percent to 411,000 electrified vehicles worldwide. Ahead of climbing oil prices, experts agreed the figure would rise at least another 49 percent.
Analysts believe winter 2018 could see oil prices reach $100 per barrel as the U.S. prepares for new sanctions against Iran. Without Iranian exports, global supply with strain. Gas prices have flirted with $3 a gallon across the majority of the U.S., too, for the first time since 2014.
However, some analysts foresee stabilization in early 2019 for oil prices as new spare capacity comes online. A modest surplus in oil may return sometime next year, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Yet, a blip in the radar is just that. Outlooks for oil demand are robust as China and India continue to consume more energy.