[extropy-chat] Debate on Peak Oil

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Wed May 4 11:02:26 UTC 2005

On 5/4/05, Mike Lorrey <mlorrey at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Actually, it is primarily driving habits. People rush around so much
> they HAVE to accelerate pedal to the metal. You just can't get peak
> efficiency that way, using gas or electric. With the Prius there is
> said to be a 'sweet spot' in acceleration from 20 mph up to 60 mph that
> requires you to accelerate pretty slowly, just enough so that the gas
> engine doesn't kick in to help out. You apparently HAVE to use this
> method to get peak efficiency.

Agreed. Doing everything gradually can easily add 20% to your fuel
efficiency. The competitive 'economy-runs' achieve incredible economy
and still have high average journey speeds.

But my point was that the Euro price levels of >$6 per US gallon
(equiv) have had little effect on reducing car use.

Alfio said that Europeans tend to drive much more efficient cars and
drive less miles.
While this is true I doubt if the price of gas caused this. European
cities are still jammed full of cars. Traffic jams are permanent.
Europe has centuries old cities and towns with lots of narrow streets
and no parking space. People tend to live local, crowded together.
Smaller cars are one solution. But when families have two or three
smaller cars, overall the result is the same as one or two larger
Part of the reason is the slow pot-boiling effect. The price of gas
and other costs go up gradually every year and people pay a little
more every year without really noticing how high the price is getting.
I see little sign that gas prices are bothering people much.
They get a 3% rise every year and gas prices go up 3% - who cares really?

As a footnote we have to be clear whether we are talking mpUSg or
mpUKg (or even kilometres per litre if you want to make sure nobody
understands!)    :)

If you buy a UK car that is rated at 48 mpg, when it gets to the US,
because the US gallon is smaller, it will only give 40 mpg. Divide by


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