Posted by: energyblogwalter | June 16, 2009

Signs of Decline: Drivers ignoring market forces

This morning drivers are upset at $1.03 a litre for gas in Toronto!  Um… this
isn’t bad.  If market forces with higher prices are supposed to help investment in alternative transportation and alternatives to cars on gas then we need higher prices so that we make those transitions.  Ask not for a lower price, ask for alternatives!

With enough people interested in saving money then there is a market for those alternatives even at twice the price.  But unfortunately market forces are not helping with human nature.  People want cheap gas all the time but as we enter the years of Peak Oil we will find precious little of it.   Even worse, our
dawdling now prevents the investments needed to create the alternatives we will need as prices really do rise.  We need time to plan ahead.

What happens when the price is $2 or $5 a litre?  Will people say to themselves that they should seek alternatives or will they just complain?  Sadly I think the latter.  Go Nissan and their all-electric car, go Electrovaya of Brampton making a Prius-equivalent battery into a shoebox.  We have the technology now.  We have the industry now.  What we don’t have is the appreciation of market signals.

Anything and anyone that continues to cloud those signals of change just means we will suffer moreso as gas prices really do rise.  You’re not going to boycott gasoline are you?  Not unless you’re willing to go 100% electric.  Wake up people.  Seek those alternatives.

What alternatives?  Really right now it’s only the compact car hybrid vehicle, Insight or Prius or others.  It’s not the SUV Hybrid which is not a solution.  The less weight the better for the battery to drive the car at low speeds.  This removes the stop-and-go inefficiencies of gas systems and the best bang for your ever increasing costs.

2010 plus will be the real alternatives though.  Nissan will be out with a 100% electric car.  Between 2010 and 2012 Ford/Magna will have it’s own electric car along with cars from China and India using Electrovaya components.  Europe has higher prices, so should be further along the customer demand curve for change as well.

How much of all that we will get here in Toronto it’s hard to say.  But if you want alternatives you’re going to have to shout for them!

Ask yourself at what price can you no longer drive?  If your price point is $3/litre then this is the time now to plan ahead to seek and make comfortable alternatives, not later when everybody is your competition.  Better yet, tell this to your car dealer.  Tell them at such-and-such price point you can no longer drive an all gas powered car and will be seeking alternatives at that point.

Ask for them now and stop complaining.  The industry is waiting for you.  But first you have to burst the price bubble and accept market forces.  It is then your responsibility to ask for alternatives, not cheap gas.

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