Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Stone Age didn't end because the cavemen ran out of stone.


At the time of the last energy shock in the 1970s, Sheikh Yamani, the shrewd Saudi oil minister, famously told his greedier Opec colleagues that they would encourage replacement of oil by other energy sources and kill the golden goose that had made them wealthy if they kept pushing the oil price too high. "Remember," he said, "the Stone Age didn't end because the cavemen ran out of stone."

The last three global recessions -- in 1974, 1980 and 1991 -- were all triggered by an oil shock and it looks as if Opec is now determined to repeat this experience. How many such shocks will it take before we control our addiction to oil?

Those well written words from this article.

For those that don't know me that well, I am a car enthusiast and a technologist. You wouldn't know it by the cars I drive necessarily since I am more anti-debt than pro-cars and so, as long as we have a house mortgage, I won't be getting my toy cars. But, what I am really amazed at anymore is the technology and shift in research towards alternative fuels. 20 years ago, this wouldn't have and didn't happen when fuel prices got outrageous. But today we have the technology and know-how to create something better, and anything that is high tech I am generally interested in learning about.

Basically, if you are looking to learn about what is happening in tomorrow's efficient cars the best place to go is AutoblogGreen. There you can keep up on the new trends in alternative fuels, electric cars, new cars coming to the market, and analysts/pundits comments and opinions on the efficient auto-market.

Having followed the trend closely for the past year, it has become more and more obvious to me that some predictions are correct:
1) Cars will be more fuel efficient in 3-5 years when you are looking to sell your now hybrid...therefore your hybrid might not be as valuable. If we move off of oil successfully in 5 years, there may be no market for a hybrid at all.
2) Hybrids still do not justify the expense that people are so willing to pay. Sure, it will help the environment and I commend you for that. But don't think you will save money. I think the first hybrids that may be able to save significant money is the plugin hybrid that you will essentially be able to run up to 100 miles without the gas engine kicking in...and the gas engine will be there for longer hauls only.
3) The first green car company willing to take the east coast market seriously will have a big advantage. There are a lot of people on the east coast angry online about the car manufacturers only focussing on the left coast.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I used to think I wanted a hybrid, until I realized the somewhat impressive gas savings do not justify the extra money required to purchase a hybrid.