Should I Invest in Oil and/or Buy a New Car?

The stock market is quiescent and it is time to ponder questions such as should I buy more BP shares and should I buy an electric or hybrid car? There is an article in the FT today on the rejection of resolutions focussed on climate change at the ExxonMobil and Chevron annual meetings. It said: “shareholders solidly rejected climate change proposals at the US oil majors’ annual meetings on Wednesday, scaling back support from last year and splitting with results at peers in Europe where resolutions related to global warming have won stronger support. Only 11 per cent of Exxon shareholders supported a petition calling for the company to set emissions reduction targets that would be consistent with the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. A similar proposal at Chevron received less than 10 per cent support”. See FT article here:

Resolutions on this subject at the BP and Shell AGMs were similarly defeated even though many institutional holders like to promote their green credentials.

Individual shareholders need to make up their own minds on how to vote on whether to put companies like BP and Shell out of business by stopping their oil development activities. Both BP and Shell argue for a transition to renewable energy at a pace acceptable to their customers and which does not impose unreasonable short-term costs and I agree with them. The transition to renewable energy for many purposes may make sense but for transportation carbon fuels have a very high energy intensity and the infrastructure to support electric vehicles means a high loss in the transmission system.

I have a pressing personal decision to make on this issue. My diesel-powered Jaguar XF is almost ten years old now and I like to buy a new car when they have done more than 60,000 miles as they get more unreliable and expensive to maintain after that. I don’t do many miles now so a somewhat smaller car might make some sense. But should it be an electric vehicle, a hybrid or a petrol/diesel one?

I think a hybrid is the best bet and have booked a test drive of a Toyota Corolla. They are self-charging hybrids but can only run a short distance on battery power so I am betting that petrol will be readily available for at least the next ten years.

I am surprised that Jaguar are still selling XF models but they do now have a petrol option and a “sportbrake” version which probably shows how well liked the car is but I fear that diesel will be discouraged by regulation soon.

They do sell all-electric models now but they are expensive and are bulky SUV style cars when I prefer smaller vehicles. Note that the environmental benefits of electric cars over petrol ones are quite marginal if you take the all-in lifetime environmental impact costs into account and the latest scare is that the heavier weight of electric vehicles is causing damage to our roads – thus explaining why there are so many potholes in our roads of late. The weight of current electric batteries is becoming a major problem while the production and recycling of batteries is a negative aspect not yet confronted.

Electric cars are cheaper than they used to be but they either have limited range or are expensive (£43,000 to £58,000 for a Tesla Model 3 for example, or over £70,000 for a Jaguar I-Pace).

Readers of this article can suggest alternatives for me to look at. Use the comment box below.

I could of course hold on to my current vehicle for another few years in the hope that Sadiq Khan changes his mind on the ULEZ expansion (my Jaguar XF is not compliant) or is not elected again next May. There are several strong contenders lining up to take him on. But I do so few miles within the ULEZ area (current and future) that it does not bother me much what the Mayor decides to do. Whatever he decides he is bound to be wrong based on his past decision record.

Roger Lawson (Twitter:  )

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7 thoughts on “Should I Invest in Oil and/or Buy a New Car?

  1. I have a 20 year old Motor Home that does less than 100 miles in the proposed ULEZ zone in a year all of which is to get out of the area into the countryside. We are 1.3 miles inside the zone and feel that all recreational vehicles should be exempt.

    Not particularly relevant but my other vehicle is a 70 year old motorcycle reliable petrol and Ulez compliant as it is exempt.

  2. My ex-demo Audi A3 e-tron is in its 8th year. 37g/km. Sunroof (I’d never buy a car without one). Great car, though I too prefer a smaller, ideally taller car, so I’d go for an A1 or Q2 (?) if only they made them as plug-in hybrids.

  3. An impossible situation placed on the older population by ‘The Mayor’ who does not understand ‘limited mileage use’ low carbon footprint’ by us who have already invested ‘on pensions’ to see us through with ‘last century money’! How can they possibly think ‘electric or new’ just because he has an ‘short notice agenda’ because of his ‘illusionary health problem’ in central London not applicable to outer London environment or the ‘home counties’. The only way out is if we prudently supported and still use British design and manufacture of the last century.

  4. We understand that the UK Parliament is powerless to stop the decisions of the “legitimately elected Mayor of London”. Let parliament then launch an INDEPENDENT investigation into how TFL is managed, how much funding they have received and how OUR money has been spent.
    Why is TFL, despite the state funding, the billions collected from citizens in the form of fines, congestion charges, ULEZ charges and other frauds and racketeering, on the verge of bankruptcy?
    There are three possibilities.
    – Incompetent management
    – Financial abuse and theft
    – The above two together
    One way to launder the stolen money is fake road repairs.
    What would be the results of an INDEPENDENT review of the road repairs made during his administration?
    How many materials were paid for and how many were actually used?
    How many working hours are paid and how many are actually used?
    Which companies carried out these repairs?
    Who signed the acceptance of substandard repairs?
    Yes, the UK Parliament is powerless to stop the decisions of the “legally elected Mayor of London”, but the same Parliament can investigate financial abuses …

    • The UK Parliament is NOT powerless to stop Sadiq Khan and his ULEZ proposals. Parliament can make laws and unmake laws and can overturn whatever the Mayor of London pronounces. With a Conservative majority in Parliament, it would be easy to do so if MInisters had a mind to do it.. Why they do not do so is difficult to understand. Are they scared of public opinion or hoping that it will so damage Sadiq Khan’s reputation that he will lose the next election? Either way it’s very stupid.

  5. Hello i think,the government are useless .I hope Richard Tice becomes prime minister.As for Sadik Khan, he is just a puppet for the government..He does not give a monkeys for working people, He wants to ruin London.

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