Energy: When the Transition Becomes a Switch

The announcement by GM to only sell Zero Emission Vehicles by 2035 reflects not only a desire to move with the times but is also underpinned by hard economic logic.  Irrespective of whether all consumers are ready to switch, running R&D and manufacturing plants for gas, battery and hydrogen powered vehicles in parallel will become uneconomic even for players as large as GM.  Auto makers have incentives to take share in a growing part of the market and push for a switch in the entire infrastructure.  This will have ripple effects for the supply chain, and not only for fuel tank manufacturers, for example.  One day, we will likely see the same in power and in chemicals.  For the energy industry, spotting similar downstream industrial switching will be crucial to understanding transition timing – or the big switch.