Does the automotive industry really want to keep gas prices high? Are they avoiding hybrids? What about E85, biodiesel, hydrogen?I’ve read alot of blogs and news articles lately that seem to think the automotive industry want gas prices high. It that really the case?
Before I make my case, let me preface this by declaring that I am in no way defending Oil Companies and Nations. Most of our oil probems stem from the fact that Opec is largely rogue and or arabic nations coupled with the fact that China’s demand for oil keeps skyrocketing. Oh and the fact that Environuts have limited our own production of Oil and construction of Refinerys.
Now that I’ve got that clear let me focus on the Auto industy. I’ll make a few seemingly disconnected points before stitching them together.
Due to the increase in complexity of vehicles they aren’t ‘making them like they used to.’ Cars tend not to last as long as they used to, or at very least require more maintenance. This decrease in vehicle life creates an increase in purchase turnover and the increase in maintenance results in production of more parts.
The auto industy has countless federal incentives to research and develop energy efficent and “green” vehicles.
Due to vehicle (and noise) polution alot of cities REALLY encourage public transportation, yes this is also due to congestion in some areas. Some cities impose emissions testing and even taxes. All of these are roadblocks (sorry) to people having and operating their own vehicle. Obviously this won’t stop people but can sway them in larger cities. Every mile driven on a vehicle is one mile closer to the purchase of a new one.
Right now gas is over $3 dollars in Idaho. Idaho is a HUGE state and we like to get our and smell the trees around here. But putting fifty dollars in a tank for a sunday afternoon drive in the mountains is rediculous. Current prices severly limit recreational driving. Remember every mile driven means more maintenance and closer to that next vehicle.
Now it’s not all onesided. High gas price does create hype around economic and green vehicles. But I think the auto industy is smart enough to know that it is a limited opportunity. If an auto company were to come out with a really great high efficency vehicle at a reasonable price it would create a hugh buzz and would be a great pick-me-up for the industy. It would be a high pace one time rollover but would generate the shot in the arm the industy needs and the momentum would keep things rolling for some time.
Yes, hybrids do exist… but they are expensive and the numbers just don’t add up. It takes so long for one to recover the cost of most hybrids. (especially those of us in the mountains who need trucks/suvs). What about E85, Hydrogen, etc? I haven’t seen an major jump in hybrid technology for some time. Either make it save more gas, or make it cheaper.
So if everything seems to say the automotive industy would benifit from the move to more hybrids or alternative fuel, why haven’t we seen them keeping up their end of the deal? There is so much complexity to the issue at hand, but is the auto industy holding back?
Are the Oil companies to blame? maybe in the case of alternative fuels, but certainly not hybrids…
What’s your take? Do you think the auto industy wants to roll out cheaper more efficent hybrids?