For some time now, I have been skeptical of the currently fashionable cohort of "alternative energy". And with plenty of good reason. For example, few of the envisioned battery architectures approach the energy density of petro, and those that do, can't match it on a per/$ basis. Even when you throw in the weight savings of omitting the sort of fancy transmission that an internal combustion engine needs, they still aren't competitive, Unless you throw in some sort of fat taxpayer subsidy (which is not how I learned to listen to the market's verdicts).
Further (as anyone who has read even a few of my posts knows), I am expecting deflation. Severe deflation. As in, "We have Wormsign the likes of which God has not seen". That severe. And that means declining commodity prices. Oil included. To this day, a very large percentage of US oil consumption is commercial - trucks and trains taking products from point of manufacture to point of sale. A prolonged, monolithic economic decline will reduce demand, for Everything, so there is no reason to assume oil will escape that.
And that makes oil a bitch to compete with.
So I have been bearish on most of petro's competition. Especially batteries.
I remain so for most - but not batteries. Not anymore.
For it seems that our current administration (which I will not pretend to support), actually got something right. Maybe by accident, maybe by careful premeditation, but right is right.
Amidst all the various, ludicrous 'stimulus' funding, there was included full funding (as in, "cost plus", which is about as good as it gets) for EMCC's WB-8 "Whiffleball", a direct descendant of the late Dr. R. W. Bussard's original pollywell designs, for a highly compact, relatively cheap fusion power plant. The funding support is about as committed as it can be, providing for the current design, and one revision after that.
I find the physics of this design quite compelling, and its predecessors have a good track record. Further, it is not as finicky as some other designs, being able to run off of multiple isotopes combinations.
Anyway, this means a future of really cheap power is closer than it was. And that may be the thing that drops the cost of battery-based power-trains below petro, even in with depression pricing, and keeps it there - cheap fusion power.
When? Of the top of my head, I have estimated 20 years, based on government capacity to screw up. But it could be sooner. Much sooner. So I am backing away from Any short positions re batteries, from now on.