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Big Oil Should Be Worried About Amazon’s Battery Play

The last bastion of the fossil fuel industry was just breached.
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Illustration: George Wylesol for Bloomberg Businessweek


While you were busy reading Elon Musk’s tweets, Audi AG was unveiling its Tesla challenger, the E-tron. One of the most interesting bits of the glitzy launch concerned simply plugging the thing in: The carmaker, it turns out, has teamed up with Inc. to install home chargers for E-tron buyers.

While Amazon helping to get new plugs put into garages may not scream revolution, it should still worry the likes of Exxon Mobil Corp. The oil industry has long been more concerned with generating supply than encouraging demand—why bother, when drivers had no alternative? The hassle of charging has long been one of the things holding back the electrical vehicle market. Amazon’s entry will make that a whole lot easier, potentially representing a major threat in oil’s biggest market.