Friday, July 4, 2008

It's Time To Re-think your driving future

As oil approaches the incredible price of 150 USD per barrel, consumers around the world are faced with an incredible jump of gasoline and consumer goods. Today, driving that luxury SUV may seem ludicrious as it will cost over a hundred dollars per fill. Consumers in the UK already pay over 4 pounds per gallon and who really can say what limits the price of gas will reach with today's uncertain future?

GM is close to bankruptcy as their stock price hit a 50 year low of under ten dollars per share. The world wide credit crunch is hitting everyone, and if you're in the air travel industry this is indeed going to be a rough time for you. Air Canada and Jazz have laid off thousands of people combined. Those road trips that everyone takes during the summer are shrinking or disappearing. Drive-offs at gas stations are becoming more frequent. Just the other day a gas station attendant was run down in Halifax as he tried to stop someone from gas-and-dashing.

If I filled my car today, it would cost $87.60. Just a year ago this was 60% cheaper. Driving scooters may seem like a better choice, but what to do if the winter comes around? I'm just glad I don't drive a big V-8 truck anymore. The old F150 used to cost me at least $10.00 per day in gas back in 2000. Had I kept that truck it would have cost me 4x that with the driving I did back then.

Should you go out and buy a Toyota Prius? Absolutely not. It costs more in natural resources to build than a regular car. Top Gear recently did a fuel economy test of a Toyota Prius vs. a BMW M3 on their test track. They had the Toyota Prius race around the track as fast as it could go. All the M3 had to do was keep up (which wasn't much effort btw). The result? The M3 used LESS fuel than the Toyota Prius. No shit. If you don't believe me, check out Top Gear on BBC and then get back to me.

Manufacturers are getting away from Minivans, Trucks, and SUV's. They are going to be building more smaller cars, which makes sense. They should really be building more cars like Japan's KEI car class. Those cars are even smaller than the popular SMART cars in North America. If you've never seen a KEI class car, they are typicall cars that have less than 1300 cc of displacement and are especially tiny. KEI cars are popular with Japanese folks because they use a tiny bit of fuel and they are cheap to insure.

Mazda AZ-1:

Diahatsu Copen:

Honda Today:

Isn't it time we considered a smaller car?

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