Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I intended my first posting to be on a different subject. However the recent run up in fuel prices makes it a good time to address an issue I have been thinking about for a while.

Damage to the oil industry of the southern US will push pump prices to highs many thought they would never see just a few months ago. This brings to mind the problems with the American automotive market. All companies selling cars in the US are in the middle of a horsepower war.

Don't believe me, consider this; a new stock Honda Accord V6 (boring right?) can out accelerate most stock muscle cars from the muscle car era. This is due to a decrease in car weight, better transmissions, and more advanced engines. You have to wonder why a "boring, practical" car needs to be able to out accelerate some of the fastest cars made.

If you look at most of the cars in the US, it is really hard to find one that doesn't get 20 MPG city and 30 MPG highway, plus or minus 4 MPG. Doesn't matter if it is a $12,000 130 HP economy car or 300 HP Cadilac DeVille.

Hybrids are changing that, but consider the Citroen C1. Companies have learned to make engines more efficient, but in the US that efficiency has been used to make more powerful cars get the same MPG instead of making cars with the same power get better MPG. In the very near future I think the buying public will be asking for better millage, $3 a gallon gas prices will do it for many people. And while prices will probably recede somewhat in the winter, the rise of a car economy in China will ensure that gas will never be cheap again.
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Blogger Pat said...

Head line of this article reads Gas prices seen well over $3 on Katrina

8/31/05, 5:19 PM  

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