TO THE EDITOR:
Michael S. Smith says electric vehicles are five years too early and 2030 may be the best year to fulfill their destiny ("The EV rush is too early for customers," June 24). This is, he writes, because gasoline prices are low and may fall even more next year. Smith perfectly explains why EVs haven't yet hit their full potential.
He reiterates the fiction that low gasoline pump prices discourage sales of fuel-efficient cars — and EVs. This ignorance contributed to General Motors' bankruptcy — and dismisses that Toyota, Honda, et al. ate GM's U.S. lunch in the 1990s by selling gas sippers when gasoline was mostly under $2 per gallon and not infrequently under $1.
The world of oil economics has changed from one of peak supply to one of peak demand. Peak demand oil economics correctly imply that per-capita oil demand falls faster than total demand rises. Producers now must fight each other for a stable share of a shrinking pie. Zero of them know the economic parameters of such a future.
EV makers and customers need to create a set of economics from scratch that will compete with a peak demand oil world. The economics of both won't be known until EVs battle gasoline on an equivalent volume and customer-convenience basis. The Model T Ford with gasoline did exactly this to horse-age economics; EVs are 2019's Model T.
NORMAN HIGBY, President, WMP Forecasts, Menlo Park, Calif.