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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I pulled into a local Chevron to fill her up (47.5 MPG). This is a old school gas station with service bays and the whole nine yards.

As soon as I get out of my car, a guy comes running out of the service bay and starts asking me about the Prius. He worked there and seemed like he was in charge, but I don't know if he was the owner or just a mechanic. First he says "You get about 35-40 MPG in that thing, don't you?". I told him how much we really get and he was pretty impressed.

Then he says "Why do you think the oil companies keep raising the gas price? They know this technology is out there and available. They're scared to death".

I said the obvious "But if they keep raising the prices, it'll make more people buy into the hybrids".

To which he said "They don't care. If everyone doubles their MPG, the oil companies will simply double the price of gas."

I'm not saying a guy who works at a gas station knows what he's talking about, but he might have a little more insight than the average person. He just reinforced what I have said all along - gas will be $4.00/gal by Labor day.


DGStan
 

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It is clear that he does not know what he is talking about.
He thought that you got 35 to 40 mpg.

Besides, just how likely is it that we will all double our gas milage? Adjusted for inflation, gas is not all that expensive. And, compared to Europe, it is a bargin.

And, why did gas just go down 10 cents per gallon since last week? (In my area)

Gas prices are a factor of many things. Consumption is just one of them.

Roger
 

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Basic economics is another. If the demand goes down, the price follows. Obviously it's not that simple in the commodity market and if absolutely everyone had a hybrid, sure the price might double... but really all that needs to double is the profit.
 

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RJMusser said:
And, why did gas just go down 10 cents per gallon since last week? (In my area)
So when it goes up $0.20 one week then down $0.10 the next, you're ok witht that?
 

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In our area, gas went down 2 cents--real slowly. Stations are just waiting for it to go up again and raise their prices 10 cents or more. Chicago papers had an article yesterday that Conoco and Mobile had 65% and 69% ( not sure of order) increase in profit last year. I think that's despicable! If their profits hit them as hard as prices are hitting us, I'd be less cynical about what's really going on. I don't mind sacrificing and paying more if everyone's in the same boat.
 

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We're down quite a bit here in SW MO. I think we peaked at just over $2.20/gal, currently Wal-mart shows $1.96 before the $0.03 off per gallon with the gift card.

It's nice that I only paid over $2/gallon twice due to long driving distances! I still have 1 bar on the fuel guage with about 440 miles on the tank at 60.0mpg! Prob. fill today though.
 

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dgstan said:
To which he said "They don't care. If everyone doubles their MPG, the oil companies will simply double the price of gas."

DGStan
That flies in the face of a free market economy. The above could only happen if oil companies collude to price fixing. Price - without fixing - is driven by the balance between supply and demand. Without fixing, price should come down if consumption and secondarily demand goes down, but only until supply comes down as primary supply in the ground dries up. Gasoline for cars is a significant portion, but nevertheless only one of several portions of overall demand for petrochemical substances, others being home HVAC, industry for all sorts of production processes (energy and raw material for plastics etc...), and so forth. Overall, the deman will likely still go up and the "hybrid kink" :D in gas consumption is nowhere near in sight...
 

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Most of you here live in the States, where gas is cheap: you pay probably like 2 USD for a galoon (a bit less than 4 liters). Here in Europe, 1 liter is 1.20 euro (more than 1.50 USD), which is expensive.

And here is something odd: Prius is still more popular in the USA than in Europe. I can't explain that... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
efusco said:
We're down quite a bit here in SW MO. I think we peaked at just over $2.20/gal, currently Wal-mart shows $1.96 before the $0.03 off per gallon with the gift card.

It's nice that I only paid over $2/gallon twice due to long driving distances! I still have 1 bar on the fuel guage with about 440 miles on the tank at 60.0mpg! Prob. fill today though.
For the record, prices have not dropped here. Below is the price per gallon data from my last month's worth of fillups:

3/17 $2.28
3/25 $2.33
3/28 $2.34
3/31 $2.38
4/2 $2.42
4/8 $2.60
4/16 $2.66

This is in South Orange County, CA. However, most of the fillups are done at Costco, so it's actually a bit higher at regular stations. According to my data, that's 17% in one month. Has demand for gas gone up 17% in this time period? Or has supply been cut by this amount? Maybe it's a combination of the two (with just a dash of unmigigated corporate greed).
 

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gas price issue

I do know that the government is stockpiling oil in case worse-comes- to- worse. That decreases the supply which is affecting the price.

Also, I heard a report that we are burning oil like crazy in Iraq right now. We are burning 50 gallons a day for every soldier that is over there (that is the average I heard). This is also decreasing the supply, which is affecting the price.

Also consider that every American soccer mom out there thinks they are more safe in a gas-guzzling SUV than in anything else, which is also decreasing the supply which is affecting price.

It's no wonder gas prices are up. Not only that, it's not cars that burn the most oil but manufacturers (usually of plastic). Plastic is up....therefore, so are gas prices.

It won't be long and they'll be drilling in Alaska. This should really help things. Also, wait til the war settles down.

I would assume that if everyone starts buying hybrids, the supply would go up, and the demand would go down, and the prices would therefore go down.

How long until gas stations also sell natural gas for hydrogen cars?

Maybe 20 years from now, we'll all be complaining about the price of natural gas (like we aren't already!!!). :wink:
 

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dontcheff said:
And here is something odd: Prius is still more popular in the USA than in Europe. I can't explain that... :)
I believe P is less popular in Eu because Eu has many more high mpg options with a wider selection of small fuel efficient vehicles...many from Eu mftrs.
 

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Exactly. And when there are more manufacturers into the act here, the sales of the Prius will drop. Maybe that's an explanation of the lack of numbers coming out of Toyota even counting the new increases.
Given the choice I believe there are just as many Americans as their are Europeans who would rather purchase nationally. (maybe not, but I would hope so)
It won't take much more at the gas pumps to get more high milage cars on the streets for the everyday commuter. Going to be a little tougher replacing the family oriented mini-vans.
 

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Don't forget that China will become a big factor in gas prices. There is some thousands of new cars sold there a month. These are to people that probably didn't have a car before.
 

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Rich D. said:
Don't forget that China will become a big factor in gas prices. There is some thousands of new cars sold there a month. These are to people that probably didn't have a car before.
Don't forget India too is undergoing a big economic boom. That and the fact that as companies merge, they get rid of or shut down assets that are duplicated and drive up operational costs. So every time a gas company buys out another gas company, usually they shutter duplicate operations like refineries. Now the efficiency of their only one goes up because its operating at max and they get more profit from the same amount of gas they sell. Of course if there is a problem like a fire, then production goes down overall because the total number of refinery capacity is down.
 

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You're right hyperion, but I think the biggest economic explosion has been in Eastern and Southeastern Europe as they're economies are starting to pick up again after decades of crumbling Communist rule and war. Don't forget Mexico is also undergoing a small economic revival, too. Some of these countries has their own supply of oil, but getting it refined is another story.
 

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Re: gas price issue

eojjoe79 said:
I do know that the government is stockpiling oil in case worse-comes- to- worse. That decreases the supply which is affecting the price.
True, but that's not unusual. We've had strategic reserves for about 40 years now. They get drawn down during 'emergencies' (like the home heating oil shortage in 2000) and replenished when we have the oil. Not sure if they are refilling it right now, but it happens with some regularity.

It's no wonder gas prices are up. Not only that, it's not cars that burn the most oil but manufacturers (usually of plastic). Plastic is up....therefore, so are gas prices.
Although road fuels only account for about 40% of our oil usage, plastics accounts for less than 5%. Think of it in terms of weight. The average american burns about 50 pounds of gasoline a week. We definitely waste a lot of plastic, but it is a rare person who throws out fifty pounds of plastic a week.

It won't be long and they'll be drilling in Alaska. This should really help things.
Alaska will not even cover our _increase_ in gas usage if it takes ten years to get it on line.

How long until gas stations also sell natural gas for hydrogen cars?
They do down here. There are several fleets of CNG taxis and buses, and the Honda GX is sold here as well.
 
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