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Will Oil Independence Lead to Conflict with China?

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Will Oil Independence Lead to Conflict with China?

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Andrew Seay shares an article that goes beyond the feel-good headlines of electric vehicle adoption to identify a potential risky confrontation with China.

EVs feel like a good news story:  They leave a carbon footprint 75% lower than their ICE counterparts.  They are 40% less expensive to maintain.  Four door EVs like the Tesla Model S Plaid are achieving performance levels that eclipse even the fastest ICE-powered Ferrari.

Consider how staggering that is: The Tesla Roadster was released 11 years ago and we are already seeing performance that exceeds 130 years of gasoline engine development.

It’s truly a staggering comparison.

But beyond the feel-good news, there are less obvious secondary and tertiary impacts of EV adoption that are only beginning to be felt.  Consider the following:

China imports 11M+ barrels of oil per day

70%+ of Chinese oil flows through the Strait of Malacca

The Strait of Malacca is 1.7 miles (3km) wide and is highly susceptible to blockade by a foreign power. For geopolitical buffs out there, this is referred to as “the Malacca dilemma”

Add this up, and it becomes clear that the global balance of geopolitical power between The West and China is heavily influenced by the availability and flow of transportation fuels. In the event of a hot conflict, it’s likely that the US Navy would choke the Malacca Strait, thus beginning a countdown to depletion of China’s strategic petroleum reserve.  Rough estimates peg this at 90 days, assuming an adversary is able to cut off all imports to China.

Key points include:

  • Acceleration of EV adoption in China

  • Pipelines from Russia to Mainland China

  • Oil independence leading to conflict

Read the full article, A complicated reality: EV adoption is driving risk of major geopolitical confrontation with China, on Linkedin.