If you are a copyright owner and believe that your copyrighted works have been used in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, here is our DMCA Notice.

« Kurt Vonnegut MP3s | Main | Avant-Garde to City: Give Us a Space »

April 12, 2007



Woah, gas over 6 bucks? Now that's something worth updating your LiveJournal over.


despite the ever increasing petrol costs, Europeans are driving as much now as they were ten or fifteen years ago.
Ha. Ha. Ha. Case closed, foolish Europeans!
Or not. Are they driving less than they would have sans the petrol taxes that I assume are the reason for prices being so much higher? Surely there are a lot more potential drivers now than there were ten or fifteen years ago?

J L Smith

Actually it's a puzzle: not only are we Europeans driving more, we're buying more cars, we're travelling more miles by train and flying more as well. Meanwhile the population of Europe is more or less static over the same period. The reason for all that extra travel is a mystery, but the economics aren't.

There's a subtle misrepresentation in the original post though that needs correcting. Yes petrol prices are rising but they started expensive because there has always been a tendency to tax fuel heavily here. So the situation was the same 10/15 years ago. Meanwhile income has grown making the overall cost of owning a car cheap (fule goes up, but purchase cost goes down).

Also we deal with it by buying cars that don't burn as much fuel. Chevrolet's most fuel efficient car - the Aveo - maxes out at 37mpg on the highway. And they're proud of that! It's possible to buy a Ford Focus (similar market niche) in Europe that does 70mpg (diesel) while the petrol equivalent does 50. And that's assuming that you can persuade an American to buy a small car: there are very few SUVs on the roads in Europe.


In fact, the relative difference between American and European gas prices has decreased over recent years. I remember times when gas in Germany was about four times as expensive as gas in the US.

The comments to this entry are closed.