If $4/gallon gas is bad, just wait

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"Judging from the futures markets, shock at the gas pump is bound to get worse. Maybe much worse.
"Since the beginning of the year, benchmark oil and gasoline
futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange both have increased by more than a third, but the average retail price of gasoline in the U.S. has risen by 22%. That bodes ill for consumers..."
Wall Street Journal: http://easyurl.net/BendOver
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thank ed... not!!
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Unless our congress comes to its' senses and develops an energy plan instead of simply fighting our oil development, I not only see huge price increases, but shortages, rationing, many businesses going under, and the economy in recession.
Jerry

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instead
increases,
Many energy plans have been developed. The problem is that actual consumers of gas and oil have not bought off on any of them by changing their buying habits.
Recent studies have shown that fueling a passenger car costs around 30% of the total cost of owning it, and furthermore that fueling the same vehicle with electricity (if it were an electric car) would cost about 1/3 of what fueling it with gasoline costs. And 50% of the US electric power is coal-generated, and we have another century of coal left, long enough to get a large number of wind and solar projects online. Even the battery problem has been solved with the development of large Li-Ion batteries. It's pretty clear that if the nation's passenger car fleet was switched over to electric, the remaining part of the fleet that drives long-haul (interstate trucking, etc.) would be sustainable with biodiesel.
Hwever, the customers have yet to materialize for electric vehicles. It was thought that once it was cheaper to fuel cars with electricity that this would happen, but that time was passed years ago and it still has not happened.
Your dealing with a large amount of social inertia. And stupidity.
The other problem is that sooner or later we will pull out of Iraq and when we do, and that money drain ceases and the budget finally gets balanced, the dollar will begin rising in relation to other countries currencies, and the cost of oil and gas will fall again - not to the levels it was, but maybe from $5 a gallon back to $3.50 a gallon - and the gasoline proponents will then immediately run around telling people that high gas prices were just a blip, there's still plenty of oil, yadda yadda yadda, and it is going to take another 10 years for people to finally see through that as well.
Ted
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I can't see the public not wanting a "good" electric car or a nat gas one. The GM volt, I believe targeted for something like 2010 is to go 40 miles with an overnight charge and then use gas. However, the current batteries have a habit of catching fire. Anyway, if there exists good alternatives to gasoline passenger cars, IMO these should be mandated and presented to the public as ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil - IMO if the plans were good, the mandate would be accepted. Currently, it's getting difficult to find a hybrid.
Jerry

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On Mon, 26 May 2008 10:00:15 -0700, "Ted Mittelstaedt"

It's not "social" inertia or stupidity. Your figures do not take into account the most expensive drawback to a mass changeover to electric vehicles; the cost of purchasing those vehicles. That's more of an economic inertia.
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It is not stupidity...our head would tell us to do better, but our head in analized.
It is, to some extent, social inertia.
Every great trip starts with a single step.. My point is that there has been no significant movement toward a liveable energy policy. As all of us have pretty much agreed, people in the USA buy gas guzzlers because that is what they want to buy, the expensives of owning such a beast have not been perceived as being too great, and we really have no leadership toward, nor feeling for, conservation.
It may take an whop up 'side the head to make Americans aware of the bad side of energy dependence upon foreign nations.
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wrote:

1/3
is
battery
over
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_EV1
"...According to GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, the worst decision of his tenure at GM was "axing the EV1 electric-car program and not putting the right resources into hybrids. It didn't affect profitability, but it did affect image."[43] According to the March 13, 2007, issue of Newsweek, "GM R&D chief Larry Burns . . . now wishes GM hadn't killed the plug-in hybrid EV1 prototype his engineers had on the road a decade ago: 'If we could turn back the hands of time,' says Burns, 'we could have had the Chevy Volt 10 years earlier.'"[44]..."
"...The car was very popular with its lessees, but it was not known if anyone would have purchased a new electric vehicle at the time had it been offered for sale even at a "break even" price of US$35,000-40,000. (People will now, as is shown by the Tesla Roadster preorders.) A..."
Where I live in the Pacific NW, properly maintained cars that do not get in accidents will easily last 40 years. But, I rarely see a vehicle on the road that is older than 10 years old.
If GM had pushed electric cars the same way they pushed SUV's, there would be a very large percentage of them on the road today. The first EV1 was leased out 10 years ago.
Ted
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You might more accurately have said "if the American people had wanted the EV-1 as much as they wanted SUV's...". Car manufacturers can't push things on a buying public and see the kind of market success that the SUV craze saw. The only thing that can drive market success is desire on the part of the buying public.
--

-Mike-
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On Fri, 30 May 2008 07:38:29 -0400, "Mike Marlow"

And that's a "Chicken or Egg" problem - Whether there are enough people out there who will pay a premium for a Hybrid or All-Electric car to make the engineering and production worth it. But if you never develop the product they will never line up to buy it.
Problem is there are too many people who want one and do not have the resources to build their own. Look at all the Eco-Nuts in Hollywood being driven to the Oscars and Emmy's in a chauffeured Prius or Insight to show their Eco Cred...
Many of the EV1 lessees offered to buy the cars form GM, but that meant that GM would have to provide spare parts and technical support for at least 12 years - and like dummies they wanted to cut and run.
G.M. learned, but it was the wrong lesson. If the market moves and you don't, your company is soon left by the wayside. Outside of the few Pennsylvania and Iowa areas with large Amish and Mennonite populations, it's really hard to sell buggy whips and horse-collars.
The smart thing would have been to sell off the EV1's and continue gathering long-term reliability data - re-engineer the components, get them out in use and see what lasts and what doesn't in the real world. The kind of people who would buy them would talk the engineers' ears off with useful feedback if they had the cars. The parts supply cost would have been nothing, most of the chassis parts are standard parts-bin pieces.
Then come out with the next generation car, build a pilot production line and make a few thousand, and get them out there to start racking up real world test miles too. By the time you get to a Mark IV or V they would have had a viable Full Hybrid with all the bugs out and be ready to crank up the line...
--<< Bruce >>--
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Not at all. The EV-1 never generated the interest necessary to drive it into production. Likewise, the demonstrated intererst within the car buying public was for SUV's. GM built tons of vehicles that got 30mpg, but what did the consumer buy? SUV's. No chicken and egg at all. Pure market economics.

Don't understand that point at all. Who builds their own cars? Who has ever done so?

Dummies? There were not enough of them to warrant it at the time. Show me another manufacturer who stepped up to building a car for a few dozen people and then agreed to supply parts and warranty for such a limited audience.

Wrong lesson? Have you looked at the number of cars they build that rival the mileage of the most touted cars? They simply got caught by a market turn. Markets turn fast and companies sometimes lag in their ability to follow. Happens everyday. I'm not sure you show an understanding of how supply chains, engineering, and product releases work.

Maybe so - in hindsight, which is always so accurate. At the time, I bet it did not look so smart.

Again - maybe so. And, in hindsight, it would probably have been worth an investment. But hindsight is 20/20.

I don't disagree, but the real market has to be there for real analysis and development. Again - you have to look at the real market forces that existed at the time - not what could have been. The real market forces were a consuming public that did not care about that car. They cared about SUV's. That's what they bought and that's what their feedback was to the motor companies. Say what you will but the sales records speak for themselves.
--

-Mike-
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Mike, I could not agree with you more. Let's do that; let's look at your "real market forces."

We'll, you're partly correct.
The consuming public wanted SUVs over Hybrids, alright, and here's why: the SUV was good for a $30,000 tax write-off. Hybrid vehicles? Only $4,000 tax credit. http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2002-12-18-suv-tax-break_x.htm
"This is one of the most lucrative breaks in the tax code. We're making it a fiscal no-brainer for businesses to buy giant SUVs." - Aileen Roder. Taxpayers for Common Sense
More from Market Watch: =============== "In January 2003, Bush initially proposed raising the allowable deduction from $25,000 to $75,000 . . . (but) by the time the final draft of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 was put to a vote, the tax break grew to $100,000 through 2005. . . The bill narrowly passed by a margin of 51 to 50, with Vice President Dick Cheney stepping in to break the tie." http://tinyurl.com/5temeu
There's your "real market forces", Mike.
In simplest terms: "What's good for GM is good for America." http://tinyurl.com/6z4u4k
.-=d00b
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Doobie Keebler wrote:

You do know that that tax break is only available to BUSINESSES that use the vehicle FOR THE BUSINESS. You know, like the folks who use them as taxis, limos and such.
The average soccer mom who bought an Excursion or Suburban bought it for one of two reasons. It is far safer than the cars for hauling around the team, OR they wanted it to keep up with the rest of the soccer moms.
--
Steve W.
Near Cooperstown, New York
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OR they wanted it to keep up with the rest of the soccer moms.
never seen a soccer mom yet who wasn't willing to drop to her knees while her old man was back at the house watchin TV
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This is specifically a business tax break. Has nothing to do with the average consumer's purchases.

Not at all, since the indivdual consumer derived no benefit from these tax breaks. I dare say that most of the moms driving around in SUV's probably have no idea that the tax incentives for businesses to purchase those vehicles even existed.
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If you want to credibly reference these guys at least post a relevant link. This link points to an index that requires a lot more effort to find what you may be referring to, than I'm going to put into a search.
--

-Mike-
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It is basically a question of the cost of maintaining the car. All kinds of parts can break and it costs to repair. Parts cost and if you do not do it yourself then a person doing the repair costs. Very often you see very large and expensive cars last very long. Eventually the repair costs get so high that it becomes a question of dumping it. Even if great many things in the car are good. People do the estimate all the time when the car breaks down. Is it worth the effort to get it fixed? It is pretty much the same with everything else. In the past repairmen came to peoples houses to fix machines. Not very many machines are fixed that way anymore.
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GM didn't "push" anything, they simply built what consumers wanted.
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message

I'm not shocked yet and neither is most of America as holiday driving is only expected to be reduced by 1%. Call me when it gets to $6/gal, then I will be more concerned. But that is where it needs to go to effectively reduce consumption.
Fred
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I tend to agree and maybe even higher. I personally will use all I want unless there is a shortage. Businesses will eventually pass these costs on to the consumer or go out of business. This could result in the worst of situations - failing economy and inflation. Meanwhile we are selling the country to OPEC.
Jerry

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