Liquid gold

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Prices here went up $0.10/gal in the course of the day yesterday. Today promises to be even worse. Excellent argument for more green energy as a commie fightin’ strategy. (I know Putin is not a communist, but people who know that are not necessarily the target here.)


Cars with lower consumption exist. Most consumers don’t really want them, gas is still too cheap. Any increase in fuel efficiency – which are becoming harder and harder to achieve – gets converted into weight, safety, convenience.


Yes, I’m sure the higher cost of such cars have nothing to do with lack of demand… /s


Yeah but “the market” is magic like that. I mean it’s irrelevant for US supplies what happens in Russia except the invisible hand has just grabbed a cosh and started beating you senseless.

Gawd bless capitalism!


I can only hope it increases the demand and supply* for sustainable and public transport and active travel but, who am I kidding?

Oil subsidies all round! Line up at the public teat OilCo.s!

*Not actually necessarily related let alone dependent.


living in texas, prices have started rising from a lower base and rising slower than in most parts of the country. locally, at $3.79/gallon, prices are still a dollar a gallon less, in 2022 dollars, than the price was in 2008. it may still climb higher than the 2008 record, i’m just glad i drive a prius.


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That’s pretty much what I was saying: that I hope expensive gas changes consumer behavior.

Not sure I agree there. That’s why I brought up the example of the Ford Maverick Hybrid. At $20k it’s cheaper than the Toyota Corolla Hatchback and still gets better city MPG, even though it’s about 600 lbs heavier.

Let alone the Toyota Tacoma, which gets less than half the MPG as the Maverick and still costs quite a bit more.


Just in general, though, the costs of all hybrids and electric need to come way down before the average American car buyer can afford to switch… and there needs to be a much larger after market for hybrids and electrics, too.


The cost of new cars in general these days are crazy high. According to Kelly Blue Book the average new car cost $47k in the US this December. (!) But at $20k the Maverick hybrid is one of the cheapest new cars you can buy today, and at $27k the Nissan Leaf is still $20k less than the average new car price. So there are fuel efficient options more affordable than what most people are buying.


living in texas, the people i encounter skew wildly towards trucks and suvs anyway but a few years after i bought my prius, when gas prices went way down for a while i had multiple people ask me what i thought was a rather silly question: “do you regret buying a hybrid now?” or making the, to me, even sillier statement–“i bet you’re sorry you got that hybrid now.”

i never knew quite how to respond to that except to say: no, just no.


True - and that’s in part a byproduct of the pandemic supply chains… but even BEFORE all this, such cars were still very much out of range for many people. Don’t forget that a large number of Americans are still living paycheck to paycheck with little to no savings. $20k is pretty steep for those folks, who depend on the aftermarket for affordable cars (and I’m not talking the gentle used Carmax basically new market, but the local used car dealership that has cars well under $10k). Now and again, driving past those lots, I’ll see an early model Prius, but that’s really about it.

People are weird…


IOW: “Do you regret paying even less for gas now than you did before, while also continuing to have a less deleterious effect on the environment?”


I had to get a new to me car last year - a 10 year old Corolla that is pretty fuel efficient. But I would get a hybrid if they were in my price range.

But anyway… unfortunately, IMO, the take away from this crisis isn’t going to be “We should invest in more fuel efficient cars.”, it will be “The Democrats destroyed our economy! Just look at gas prices!” They already faced the typical political pendulum momentum where it tends to swing in the opposite of the executive branch - but now there is the real world effects people are feeling and will blame the current party in power.

Also, zooming out, for all of the “America First” people and others who are just like, “We have starving people here, why are we giving billions to other countries?” This is why. Because what happens thousands of miles away can eventually effect us directly. So well placed support can keep other areas stable.


I think a lot more people would, but that’s not gonna happen until we have a larger aftermarket for hybrids and electrics.


But it didn’t happen in the last decades. Why would it happen now? Granted, gas didn’t really get more expensive over here in recent decades. A litre of gas cost about 5 minutes of work in the 70s, mid '21 it was 4 minutes, up from 3.5 minutes the year before. At the same time, cars got consistently heavier, wider, and longer and more people bought cars.


I thought something bubbled up a few days from the news tornado about Biden releasing millions of gallons from the U.S.'s oil reserve to offset gas prices, but now I can’t find anything on that.

Anyone else heard about this? And whether it’s affecting or will affect U.S. gas prices?

And also, wtf ever happened to Elizabeth Warren-like efforts to curb corporate greed, protect consumers, and so on? It does seem that collusive price gouging is going on here. Is Biden doing anything at all to break up de facto monopolies, punish collusion and so on? (I can’t find anything recent about all of that either.)


Well when gas prices went up in 2008 Geo Metros were all the rage for a hot minute:

I also remember plenty of news stories at the time about increased demand for fuel efficient vehicles at dealers and people trying to unload their Humvees. But yeah, we’d need sustained high prices to make a lasting impact on behavior.


My ex-wife had a GEO Storm when I met her. A real little shit box that ran well with great mileage.