Gasoline is $8.62/Gallon in UK, Demand Fell 20% in Past 12 Months
High Gas Prices in UK
It seems like demand for gasoline (or petrol, as they say in the UK) isn't quite as inelastic as the pessimists feared. One liter of gasoline costs about 117p in the UK, which is about $8.62 per US gallon if you convert it. That's over twice as much as in the US, and at that level, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that demand for gasoline in Britain is down about 20% over the past 12 months.
Alternatives to Driving, Ways to Save on Gas
The IEA reports that motorists are increasingly taking public transit to save on fuel, but of course the context isn't quite the same in most of England as it is in the US, for example. A lot of cities were designed pre-automobile in the 'older' countries while much of the US was designed specifically so that you would need a car to do anything. That's not environmentally sustainable, or even cost effective.
The Future of Oil Prices and Urban Planning
Many forecasters, and we tend to agree with them, don't see high oil prices as a temporary thing. Rather, it is oil prices in the past couple of decades that have been rather low (remember the oil barrel at $20 in the 1990s?). Even if what is happening right now is not peak oil yet, the demand side of the equation is changing rapidly in the developing world and prices should stay high.
This will create a huge market incentive for higher efficiency and alternatives to oil. That's where the green movement comes in. We have to offer solutions and make sure that people in power don't panic and take the wrong path (liquefied coal anyone? more corn ethanol subsidies?). Hypermiling is great, but it won't be enough...
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More on High Gas Prices in Britain
Petrol sales fall 20pc as drivers feel the pinc