hormuzeditors-blog-entry3So, how are you feeling now that tensions are rising in the Persian Gulf over Iran’s possible drive to develop nuclear weapons?

[In case you don’t know, Iran has threatened to blockade the entrance to the Persian Gulf if Western powers follow through on threats to impose an oil embargo on one of the biggest political thorns in the West’s side.]

The answer probably depends in part on whether you’ve got a plug-in vehicle, or are about to get one soon.

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That’s because about one-fifth of all the crude oil traded in the world passes through the 19-mile wide Strait of Hormuz, which sits at the entry way to the Persian Gulf. In a world addicted to oil, in particular for its transportation sector, the strategic significance of the Strait is not to be understated. As one expert has put it, “The Strait is the greatest economic choke point in the world.”

Oil prices would soar
Any sort of conflagration in the Strait would send global oil prices soaring, and could put a serious crimp on Americans’ – and other people’s – ability to get around. That is, unless, of course, you’re one of the tiny – but growing – percentage of people lucky enough to own an EV.

These folks wouldn’t feel the oil pinch much, if at all in terms of their ability to drive. They’d just continue to plug in (ideally, into the sun, via solar power :-), and continue to roll regardless of what’s going in the Persian Gulf. Of course, because our society is so utterly oil dependent, they, too, would feel the effects of the general global economic blow a slowing or stoppage of oil flow in the Persian Gulf would deliver.

Seriously, can you imagine the sudden and radical – and I do mean totally radical – rise in interest in EVs that would occur if Iran were to attempt to blockade the Gulf?

Unfortunately, we are not yet among those with a plug-in vehicle due to somewhat unanticipated life events and we’re not likely to get one for a couple of years. However, given the rising tensions between Iran and the West, I’m seriously wondering about the wisdom of waiting to buy an EV, even in our circumstances.

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Conflict unlikely – but possible
I’m not saying that things will necessarily degenerate and that open conflict will break out between Iran and the West. In fact, the likelihood of this happening is probably fairly low. But look out if something does go down and Iran follows through on its threats to blockade the Strait of Hormuz!

Seriously, can you imagine the sudden and radical – and I do mean totally radical – rise in interest in EVs that would occur if Iran were to attempt to blockade the Gulf?

The poor saps like us who thought about getting an EV and who had waited on the sidelines due to whatever reason (including, in ours, a pretty good reason) would be seriously kicking ourselves. We’d likely watch our ability to get a plug-in evaporate in the massive surge in demand that would surely occur, especially if an outbreak of war between Iran and the West led to shortages of oil and to the long lines and empty gas station tanks the U.S., and much of the rest of the world, that we saw during the Arab Oil Embargo in the 1970s.

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