What If - Gasoline is $5 a gallon in 2010?
This discussion has been closed.
Popular New Cars
Popular Used Sedans
Popular Used SUVs
Popular Used Pickup Trucks
Popular Used Hatchbacks
Popular Used Minivans
Popular Used Coupes
Popular Used Wagons
Unfortunately, they didn't buy it. :-( Oh well, it's not like a 7 mile round trip commute is going to kill me, even with $5.00 per gallon gas.
News & Views, Wagons, & Hybrid Vehicles
The Mazda Mania Chat is on tonight. Hope to see YOU there! Check out the schedule
Answer: Stuck in traffic I'm in "stealth mode 60-70% of the time using no gas at all while the "gas hogs" sit sucking fuel.
Gary: You ask.."Where is gas coming from?"
Answer: More than in the past we are dependent on foreign oil supplies.
If you drive using 10 gal.'s of gas and I use 3-1/2 gal.'s for the same miles...Who's conserving? DAH!
Your reasoning as to hybrid owners driving higher milage because of their good milage does not fly. WE drive the same miles annually as we did B/4.
I noticed that you said...""Fuel prices & interest rates nearly bankrupted you."
Well...If fuel prices were partly to blame, what's different now?
I know we have our differences but one thing I think we can agree on is that change is inevitable. Finding fuel efficiency and alternatives to better serve our environment and transportation needs are urgent. Our dependency on foreign oil has to change.
Railroad james(Not all hybrids are "high priced"..mine was less than $21K)
No, most people have some major occurrence in their life, like having to switch jobs or move further out, or a long-distance relationship or something similar, that requires them to start driving more. Then, instead of continuing to drive their guzzler, they decide to get something more fuel-efficient. It was the change in their life that prompted the more fuel-efficient car, not the other way around.
For a long time, renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel had a hard time catching on due to their high cost relative to oil-derived gasoline and diesel at the time. However, as the price of oil increases, this changes. A website for the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, which has seemingly not been updated since the 1990s, makes clear the disadvantage to renewable fuels over the last decade: "The major disadvantage of biodiesel is high production costs. Studies conducted when agricultural commodity prices were much lower than at present and petroleum prices were in the range of US$18 to $20 per barrel concluded that petroleum must rise to over US$40-$50 per barrel to make biodiesel production viable without a subsidy." Well, guess what. We're there now. And the prices could go even higher.
If for gasoline to reach $5/gal, oil reached $90-$100 per barrel, then ethanol and biodiesel would suddenly become cheaper than dino-fuels. The market demand would not only shift to high-efficiency hybrids, etc., but to vehicles that can be run on renewable fuels. Those companies that already sell FFVs, capable of running on E85 (85% Ethanol, 15% Gasoline) and those that sell diesel vehicles capable of running on biodiesel would see an upsurge in sales, while other manufacturers rush to catch up to this new market demand.
Basically, if gasoline went up to $5/gal, the market would simply find a way not to need (as much) gasoline.
Diesel vehicles can run B100 biodiesel with no expensive mods. I don't believe Gas cars can run E85 without extensive modification. Most can be converted to LNG/CNG though it is expensive. B100 has some limitations in the cold. There are people using it in Montana and other cold climates with the proper handling of the fuel. Right now without the government subsidy biodiesel costs about $3.48 per gallon. There is a $1 per gallon incentive to use B100. The safest bet is to buy a diesel car and be ready for whatever comes our way. If gas goes to $5 per gallon we will be flooded with diesel cars just as the EU is. People in the Non-CARB states will buy them new, drive them for 7500 miles and sell them to the CARB state people for a premium just as they are doing today.
me: NO. As you mention there is a problem with this, and that is the effect it has on lower income people, and in general the overall economy. There is another option - no tax increase but increase the CAFE standards. That would force manufacturers to increase mpg. Despite the accuracy flaws of the EPA-test, the test at least can show which way we're headed and by approximately what percentage.
Allow people to have the choice of whether they want a Suburban or a Prius, without any tax penalty. There just won't be so many Suburban-size vehicles out there; OR the manufacturers will see fit to institute displacement-on-demand, smaller engines, lighter materials, etc.
Ask yourself why hp has nearly doubled on average in 20 years, to move a few people around. Do we really need 250hp to move 2-5 people?
Let me answer that.
Yes AND No.
I have a Geo Metro LSI Hatch, and Despite having a 70HP 4-Cyl mated to a 3 Speed Automatic, I can still lug 4 people around! (I have also managed with 2 of the 4 being immensely overweight, and piled 7 people in their mexican-style lol) [Mind you these 2 events did not happen at the same time]. Can the car with big dreams do it? YES! Is it VERY hard to get onto the highway sometimes due to the lack of horsepower and added weight? YES!
Does the car struggle up hills even with the accelerator mashed to the floor? YES!
And it's not just with 4 people, sometimes I find our short and steep on-ramps to be a challenge getting up to highway crusing speed (55 here in MD/Frederick County) with just my 140lb butt in there, and going up hills does sometimes require alot of pressure with just me in the car!
So to answer your question: it depends. Do you NEED the extra HP? No, not at all. Would it help to have the extra HP? Yes, definitely.
Now I am not saying everyone needs excessive amounts. Unless you and your family have big waist lines (and commute with them alot) I am sure you don't need 250+ HP. Balance is what we need in the US. However the US was founded on being you. If you don't want a balance in something, you don't have to have it. You can spend credit like there's no tomorrow, and go bankrupt and walk away (that's getting more strict, I know). If you want to eat McDonalds 3 times a day and suffer the consequences, you can. That's why we broke away from Great Britain. So you can do what you feel like doing, even if it does kinda end up making everything else worse.
Despite saying that, I am more-biased to the fuel-efficient circle. When I see someone in a Big Trailblazer EXT V8 or a RAM1500 Quad Cab V8, I usually think: I know they can't possibly have any use for that much power, they could get away with a smaller engine/vehicle, and think they are wasteful. But I keep from going overboard because I remember that this is america, and you are allowed to do it if it floats your boat.
But my opinion ultimately is: Balance is the key.
Of course other things could help, but you can't always expect it to happen. "If you want it done right, you must do it yourself" That holds too true today.
I agree with most of what you said. Here is where we may veer apart. I have a Suburban that has a V8 with 255 HP. It is 6000+. The new hybrid Accord has 255 HP for half that weight. My question to you, which is over powered? I take a lot of flack for owning the Suburban on this forum. Yet the same people will act like the HAH is a blessing to our environment. I don't buy it.
Also, 200 hp today is not the same as 200 hp was 20 years ago. Back in 1985, cars like the Mustang 5.0, Camaro/Trans Am, Buick Grand National, and Chevy Corvette put out around 200-220 hp, maybe a bit more. Any of them could also do 0-60 in the low 6 second range, even with an automatic transmission.
Nowadays, 200 hp is what you get out of a Chevy Impala or Buick LaCrosse with the 3.8, or the Taurus with the Duratech 3.0. Or a Dodge Intrepid with a 2.7 V-6. However, the 0-60 on these cars is more like 8-9.5 seconds.
Back in 1985 you also had a lot of crap on the roads that would take 15 seconds or more to get from 0-60. Nowadays even 11-12 seconds from 0-60 is considered pretty bad.
Railroadjames(mass transit for mass chubbies)
I agree that raising the mpg limits (CAFE) is a better alternative to tax. However, several southern senators blocked a senate proposal several years ago for a very moderate increase in mpg. I suspect a similar thing would happen if this were brought up again or some type of absurd compromise would be made (i.e. increase mpg by 1 every other year for the next 10 years).
gag: I agree with most of what you said. Here is where we may veer apart. I have a Suburban that has a V8 with 255 HP. It is 6000+.
me: Yes, I agree that Trailblazers, Rams, Suburbans, etc. should have about that power. Because besides their 4500lb + wt. they can carry heavy loads or tow. Most people I know here in NH use their trucks - plowing, towing boats or campers, hauling firewood, for their plumbing/electrical/auto business, etc.
What I'm referring to is the hp-war that is going on with family and sports cars. Every couple of years these models are having 20 - 30hp tacked on. Look at all DC the models that now have hemis; 10 years ago they didn't have 1 model with a V-8. Lexus, Audi, VW, all making their cars more powerful. They could keep the power the same and use the technology to increase mpg, but they don't. Most manufacturers sit right on the edge of meeting CAFE, and any improvements go towards increasing power (but this is because of what people desire, so I don't blame the mfr.)
me: yes if the whole world consisted only of the U.S. and depended only on our oil consumption. But since there is a lot of growth in dmeand around the world, a drop in demand in the U.S. and any shortterm increase in supply, would only make oil usage more attractive elsewhere.
Remember, many factories and power plants buy whatever fuel is cheapest at the time. If oil drops, coal and natural gas usage are switched to burning oil.
Today I'm going to the store, and I will bring home ~10 bags worth of groceries in my 70mpg Insight.
(1) Estimated energy wasted is only 1/7 a gallon.
(2) How on earth would I fit 10 bags on my bike and/or onto a subway/bus?!?!?
It's fine and dandy to suggest alternate transport solutions to cars, but at least you should THINK before you do so. It's not practical to go to the grocery store in anything except a car.
The car *is* the best solution in this case.
We are spoiled on oil........we need to dig deep and hard in Alaska and maybe extend the pipeline to Siberia to get some of the "Putin's petrol".......:0)
Now one thing that you CAN do is try to do your grocery shopping when you're out anyway, such as stopping off on your way home from work. That way you're not making an extra trip just to do grocery shopping. But then even that's not always feasible. For example, there's a Giant on my way to work, and I'll stop off there if I just need to pick up a few things. But the Costco is about 10-12 miles away, and not really on the way to anything that I go to on a regular basis. But in this case it's worth it to drive up there once every 2-3 weeks, because of the savings of buying all that stuff in bulk.
Back in 1973-74 and 1980-82, when we had surges in fuel prices, coupled with limited supplies, it drastically changed the automotive landscape. The '73-74 crisis ensured that the Japanese imports would be here to stay, and really gave them a strong foothold, not to mention ushering in a whole new era of downsizing and efficiency in domestic cars.
The crisis in the early 80's changed the buying habits of plenty of people. Almost overnight people gave up their full-sized cars for compacts.
Also, another reason that people aren't giving up their bigger cars now is that you really don't see the big jump in fuel economy and savings that you used to, in going from a big car to a small one. For example, going from a Chrysler 300 Hemi that might get 25 mpg on the highway to a Toyota Corolla that might get 38 isn't going to save you much compared to back in the day when you might have traded some 10 mpg monster with a 440-460 cubic inch V-8 on some fuel-sipping little econobox that got in the high 20's.
But consumers' buying habits are changing, just not as drastically as predicted, perhaps. Just check out these SUV sales stats from Autosite.com...
Most of the bigger SUVs are seeing lower sales. The Explorer, Trailblazer, Tahoe, Envoy, Expedition, Suburban, etc have all taken a pretty big hit in sales.
Let me share a term with this forum that I have not yet seen mentioned. The term is "peak oil." More specifically, "global" peak oil. Global peak oil is the phenomenon where the half way point of all existing oil reserves have been used.
The United States hit its peak oil year in 1970. As our our reserves ran down we imported more and more oil to a point where we now import 66% of our oil. The phenomenon of global peak oil is soon to be upon us. Some geologists claim we have already reached it. (It always takes several years to recognize it has happened after the fact.) At best it is projected that we will hit it within the next decade. Once it occurs the increased competition for this dwindling resource will only get more intense.
Think gas prices are high now? Get ready for $3.00 per gal by this coming Fall at the latest. Beyond Fall? The increased realization that gas and oil supplies are dwindling will prompt our esteemed legislators to raise taxes to force people to limit use. Two to three years from now (go ahead right it down and call me on it if I'm wrong) we will be paying between 5 and 6 dollars a gallon. That means that the equations that everyone is currently using to determine whether or not their hybrid purchase makes economic sense will quickly be blown out of the water
The bottom line is we are entering into a period where we will begin to see a fairly rapid decline of personal use vehicles (excluding the good old fashioned bicycle.) Conservation will help slow and lessen the impact but the age of oil is drawing to a close.
Funny, I just went to the gas station last night and there's this smug looking yuppie and his two kids with his monster Hummer H2 filling up. I should've walked over to the pump after he left to see the ridiculous figure on it.
Well call me chicken little too. Read "Power Down".
The naysayers need to get educated and do so in a hurry. I will not suggest any particular place to get informed so as not to prejuidice anybodys education. I merely suggest that people choose their serach engine of preference and type in the term "peak oil." Spend an hour reading whatever catches you eye. If you are not alarmed by what you find you are a far braver soul than I
Today it's worth it to make the drive. But if we ask ourself, "what if gas cost $5 or more?" then the cost of driving there starts getting expensive compared to what we save by going to costo. I admit, for the extra $10 you may spend on gas, it may still be cheaper b/c you're saving $20 (or whatever) compared to "retail" prices at the local store.
But since this is speculative board and I gaze into my crystal ball... maybe down the road, as higher gas prices impact people's driving behavior to the point where people may not want to drive to costo as much as they used to, businesses may come up with different models to make it easier for customers to get the goods (home delivery, local pickup locations, free gas w/ purchase, i dunno)
necessity brings about invention- or whatever that saying is. I also do my shopping all at once, and while I don't have 10 bags, I would also find it difficult to carry 5 bags home. Yet somehow there are people who don't have cars that manage to feed their families. If the car WAS NOT an option, we would change our lifestyles and find a way to make it work. Right now, it's the best option (or at least most convenient option) for me, so I choose to drive to the store.
Care to make a wager on that?
Say, the U.S. national average for regular unleaded on Oct. 1, 2005?
For tracking of the average daily fuel prices for regular unleaded, I suggest we use http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/ which shows today's average at $2.153/gallon.
If you accept my bet thats fine. But before you do I suggest you do a search on "peak oil" Spend an hour. If you still want to wager I'll be happy to do so.
I'm confused. I use gas and oil like everybody else. Why on earth would you think that I hope the price goes up? I HOPE I'm wrong and I'll be glad to admit it here if I am. Regarding "logic" one man's meat is another man's poison.
Then, if you are so certain of your vision for future prices, you could buy options on those futures and make enough money to supply all of us here on Edmunds with gasoline for the next ten years...
I think "chicken little" is fairly appropriate here...
Edmunds Price Checker
Edmunds Lease Calculator
Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!
Enough said. If this guy is in your corner, I'm assured a win.
I look forward to checking the daily averages and feeding little updates in here over the coming months.
me: while what you read may be technically true; the author may have an agenda in failing to mention that there are other sources of oil, and fuel for cars. Look back over the last week or 2, and you'll see mention that the motivation to develop coal and oil-shale conversion kick in at around $3/gal. and we have enough of that for at least 100 years. Use a search engine and type in "coal gasification"; but then again you might think they're full of it; so go to the U.S. Dept. of Energy website - doe.gov and read up on energy sources - U.S. coal reserves.
You didn't spend enough time. Noam Chomsky is nuttier than a fruitcake but as the saying goes "Even a blind pig finds the occasional acorn." You want a source? Try Matt Simmons. Matt Simmons heads the worlds largest private investment bank for petroleum exploration (63 billion in current loans). Want another source try following:http://msnbc.msn.com/id/7304437/site/newsweek/ from this weeks Newsweek. Keep trying rorr. You need to dig a little harder. I suggested you spend and hour. You run across one nut and you think you've done your homework?
Yes. And this blind pig anticipates his acorn on October 1. Bet stands. Let's just call it "blind faith" on my part.
me: hmm, obviously people who don't have cars aren't starving to death. Maybe they've adapted. You should ask yourself if the problem is really: a) how to get 10-bags home or b) the more elementary - why you need to buy 10-bags at a time.
I think many people in NYC carry their groceries on the buses, taxis, and subways. If you don't have access to those, I'd say the car is best right now.
New York Harbor... wholesale prices..
May '05 = $1.57
Jan '06 = $1.47
You can make millions!!
Edmunds Price Checker
Edmunds Lease Calculator
Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!
When people are first told they have a disease they go into a stage of denial. Same is true when people are first introduced to topics that make them uncomfortable. Oil is finite, China and India are now consuming amounts of oil that if suggested a mere five years ago would have brought about peals of laughter.
Profound change is upon us. $3.00 a gallon gas is such an insignificant part of that change that it is barely worth mentioning.
GM will be in Chapter 11!
And we'll all be working at WalMart!
WE'RE ALL DOOMED!!!
Yes, China and India are both consuming large amounts of oil.
Yes, at some point in the future, it will exceed $3.00/gallon.
Where you and I differ is in the TIMING of the events. You believe sooner; I believe later. If history is any indicator, those who have believed "sooner" over that last 30 years have been proven wrong again.....and again....and again....and that includes several past progniscations from Mr. Chomsky.
But still, in the big cities you tend to have those corner stores that are within walking distance, and most people probably just buy enough groceries to last a couple days, versus a couple weeks. Plus, they have those "old lady carts", as we used to call them. The 2-wheeler kind that you often see bag ladies pulling around behind them, that fold up conveniently for storage.
I've known people who live in both DC and Baltimore who have gotten by without cars, but you can often do that in the bigger cities, as they've adapted with better public transit, a better spread-out of nearby markets, etc.
In contrast, where I live, they DO have public transportation. I could walk a mile to the nearest bus stop, which annoyingly is in the OPPOSITE direction from my job, the supermarket, etc.
At one time, we even had an electrified passenger railroad line that had a stop maybe 700 feet from my house. From there you could go to DC, Baltimore, or Annapolis. One little problem...it went bankrupt about 35 years before I was born. :-(