Last post on Apr 17, 2005 at 4:25 PM
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Hybrid Cars, Fuel Efficiency (MPG)
#744 of 773 Interesting, isn't it....
Apr 16, 2005 (4:48 pm)
How people expect the price of almost everything to rise over time, except for gasoline? Gas is cheaper today in relative terms than it was 30 years ago; when you add in the fact that most cars today get far better mileage than they did then, the portion of people's incomes that goes to gasoline has dropped dramatically. The exception to all of this, of course, is those who buy SUVs that average 14 mpg or less -- whose fault is that?
#745 of 773 Re: I found my answer to $5 gasoline [gagrice]
Apr 16, 2005 (5:23 pm)
For some reason I thought the TDI would get mid forty mpg. Consumer guide also measured the TDI Jetta at 38.5 mpg. Learn something new everyday.
On a related note, finding biodiesel should get easier in a year or two. There are plans to build the largest biodiesel refinery in North America at Minot, North Dakota. The facility will produce about 32 million gallons (100,000 tons) of biodiesel per year. They plan to use canola crops as a source (355,000 acres). This represents about one percent of all the crops planted in the state. That sets an upper limit on how many plants we could supply with feedstock for biodiesel. I would guess 10 plants if we could get the farmers to plant enough canola or soybeans.
Are you sure that $10 a gallon costs will not impact your lifestyle? Have you considered the indirect costs?
#746 of 773 Re: I found my answer to $5 gasoline [gagrice]
Apr 16, 2005 (5:47 pm)
"If the price of gasoline relative to wages were comparable today to what they were in 1920, we would be paying almost $10 a gallon for gas."
What's the difference between 1920 and now? From the sheen that protects your .37 stamp to the 10% plastic content of your "cotton" sweatshirt the "oil" factor of so many of our present day products is almost incalculable.
Forget about the stupid gas that you put in your stupid car. Haven't you been reading the business news for chrissakes?
The slow realization on the part of the business press that "Oh no, these increases in energy costs might actually force us to raise prices for our goods", is finally sinking in. How much more bad news do you think it is going to take to put either GM or Ford or some other blue chip company in a position that stockholders are no longer going to sit still for the trillionth excuse as to why they should hold on for the next reorganization? GM is currently responsible for over one hundred and sixty-five billion dollars of debt. Sales of GM products (and Ford too) are down considerably as people are reconsidering their purchases in reaction to higher gas prices. In the mean time the UAW has stated that renegotiating the health care portion of past agreements is off limits.
We are sitting on the edge of a tenuous cliff. We have had fun along the way. We have assumed the debt that fun demands from the less than rich. And the fun we've been having wasn't limited to individuals. The companies and the very government that continues to just barely govern joined in the merriment. The very same people that promised little Suzy and Johnny that they were wonderful children and should have everything that their little hearts desired at home, went to work every day and took those same sentiments to their jobs.
Complete health, dental, eye coverage? Not a problem. Inflation adjusted wages? Sure..why not? Fine...in a vacuum. But nature abhors a vacuum. Other workers in other places said, "Dental, what the hell is dental? I need rice for the kids. Where' s the pick and shovel? You only want me to work 12 hours? When do I start?"
This post started out, "what if gas costs x by x?" And everybody jumped into the fray about their driving habits. On and on and on we went as if the price at the pump was the real story. Our personal driving choices, regarding rising energy costs, are so insignificant that the lack of this realization is frightening.
It's not about you in your gas guzzler or your gas thrifty pod driving down the highway of life. It's much larger than that. In fact, the impact of rising energy prices will dominate the headlines from this point on. Wars have and will continue to be fought as the availability of energy shifts from one area to another. The viability of entire continents will rise and fall as a result of their access to energy changes.
My answer to, "What if gas is $5.00 by 2010?" Well, my answer is that it will be a small miracle if that is all the higher gas is by then. And if it isn't higher by then it will be because the price has been suppressed because we have entered into a fairly serious recession. And that means that plants will have been closed and people laid off. And that will mean a lower tax base. And that will mean that government services will be lessened. And that means that even if I personally can still afford to put gas in my tank I will be driving around in a greatly diminished America.
There is a big picture that is being overlooked on this forum. It is based on a self serving smugness that never has and never will provide a solution to the challenges that we are about to face. Pogo once claimed, "We have met the enemy...and the enemy is us." Pogo might have only been a cartoon but at least Pogo had a clue.
#747 of 773 Re: I found my answer to $5 gasoline [avalon02wh]
Apr 16, 2005 (6:45 pm)
I thought the TDI would get mid forty mpg.
The cars built on the Golf platform the New Beetle and Jetta all get in excess of 45 MPG. Many report getting in the low 50s out on the highway. The Passat is bigger & heavier with a larger TDI engine and a 5 speed automatic transmission. I felt that getting mid 30s was good considering a new car and the speed we traveled much of the last half the trip. As you have pointed out the production of biodiesel is on a rapid rise. This is good for our economy and environment. Biodiesel is Green House Gas neutral making it a much better fuel than gasoline or regular diesel. I will be ready when it is available with a car that can use it.
As far as $10 gas, my gas budget is smaller than most smokers tobacco budget. So I don't see it bothering me as much as it would the economy as a whole. It would probably cause a recession or worse. Having worked in the oil fields for the last 25 years I don't see the big panic. I am sure it is a political move to get some new infrastructure into place which will relieve the pressure for another 30 years. We need additional refineries and means of transport. It is not an oil shortage it is an oil production & transportation problem.
#748 of 773 TDIs [avalon02wh]
Apr 16, 2005 (9:39 pm)
Just to defend the honor of the TDIs, the late-model TDI Passat is not designed for "knock 'em dead" fuel efficiency. It has too much power for that (the previous generation of Passat TDIs got much better gas mileage, EPA 38-city/46-hwy, with a LOT less power). It is still significantly better than anything else in it's class, though.
My Jetta TDI on the other hand (owned since Jan 2005) has never gotten below 48.8 mpg for my 20-mile round-trip 85% highway commute. My best is 52.7 mpg and I'm hoping to top that now that warmer weather is here.
#749 of 773 Re: I found my answer to $5 gasoline [brucej]
Apr 16, 2005 (10:00 pm)
brucej, your thoughtful insight provides a good basic outline of the consequences of ever increasing oil/energy prices. It is too bad that some people seem to feel that higher oil/gas prices are alright or even good for America or any nation for that matter. Right now I am a business owner in the service sector and MUST use gas (a lot of gas) each day to serve my customers. These customers do not want to pay any more than they already do for our services. If I try to pass any additional costs along to them, at the very least they will shop for another vendor that will service them for less than we are able to. Before anyone says well hey if they can find it cheaper, then why not, please stop and consider that cheaper is not always better. In fact it might not even be legal! Some businesses will cheat State, Local and Federal government not to mention their own customers to forestall loss of business. There are no free lunches in this world that I know of. In the end, someone ends up paying the bill. Gas at $5.00 a gallon will be paid for in more ways than at the pump! When that finally sinks in it will probably be too late to undo the price increases that will be seen in all the things that don't even have a gas tank!
By the way, I currently employ 20 people down from 40 two years ago all thanks to so called necessary increases in workers compensation insurance, liability/auto insurance and energy costs. All with no claims in the last ten years of business!
#750 of 773 Odac warns of global shortage of oil after 2007
Apr 17, 2005 (12:45 pm)
"Shell, which last year faced a corporate crisis after overstating its oil reserves, recently said its reserve replacement ratio had shrunk to 19%, the lowest of any oil major. This means Shell is finding less than one-fifth of what it produces.
“More and more countries are tipping over into absolute decline. There are 18 major producers and 32 smaller ones in decline already – that adds up to 29% of world production,” said Skrebowski."
Full story here:
#752 of 773 Re: Odac warns of global shortage of oil after 2007 [brucej]
Apr 17, 2005 (1:10 pm)
“We’re at an all-time high in terms of vacancies. This time last year we had 800 and new jobs are being posted at a rate of 50 a day,” Rose added.
It sounds more like there is a man power shortage that is bigger than the Oil shortage. The so-called civilized countries have slowed their population growth to where there are no young people to do the work. That is why many companies are paying top dollar to keep us old dudes around. I would like to retire and they keep throwing more money at me. Young people better get educated and start carrying the load or they will be in for a real eye opener in 30-50 years when the real oil shortage starts to show up. New technologies will not happen without educated people to make it happen. Sounds like we need more engineers than we need environmentalists, lawyers and philosophers.
#753 of 773 " the single most critical challenge facing humanity in this century"
Apr 17, 2005 (1:16 pm)
" Somehow, within the next few decades, we must find a new energy source that can provide a minimum of 10 terawatts of clean power on a sustainable basis, and do this cheaply. To do this with nuclear fission would require no less than 10,000 breeder reactors. Assuming we don't get it all from nuclear fission, where is that 10 terawatts of new power going to come from? Who will make the necessary scientific and engineering breakthroughs? Can it be cheap enough to bring 10 billion people, world population at that time, to a reasonable standard of living? Can it be done soon enough to avoid the hard economic times, terrorism, war, human suffering, that will otherwise occur as we fight over the dwindling oil and gas reserves on the planet? Energy may very well be the single most critical challenge facing humanity in this century."
-Richard Smalley- Nobel Prize Winner, Chemistry