Tesla Provides Update on “Powertrain 1.5”
UN FAO: Biofuels a Significant Demand Factor in Food Price Surge

Diesel Crosses $5.00/Gallon Mark in California

Dieselca
The price gap between diesel and gasoline has been expanding, most visibly in the California market. Click to enlarge.

The price of diesel jumped past the $5.00/gallon mark in California this week to $5.027—a 69% increase from one year ago, according to the latest data from the US Energy Information Administration. The average price for retail on-road diesel across the US was $4.731/gallon.

The average price for gasoline (all formulations) in California for the same period was $4.099/gallon. The average price of gasoline across the US as reported for this week was $3.937/gallon. The premium between diesel and average gasoline prices in California for the week is $0.928/gallon, or a 23% price premium for diesel on average. nationwide, the premium is $0.794/gallon price premium, or 20%.

The increasing—and persistent—gap between diesel and gasoline—which is beginning to eliminate the fuel consumption advantage of diesel over gasoline engines—could negatively affect the adoption of diesel powertrains, just as they are beginning to come back into the market.

In a presentation during a workshop discussing policy mechanisms for further reductions in vehicle greenhouse gas emissions at the California Air Resources Board (earlier post), Dr. Ken Kurani of the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis) noted that in the past, adoption of alternative fuel powertrains has dropped precipitously once the perceived price benefit of the switch decreases or disappears.

Kurani
Click to enlarge.

He specifically noted the example of the adoption of diesels in California in the 1970s and 1980s, with a plot of diesel vehicle sales against the price of gasoline and diesel. With diesel priced lower than gasoline, sales rose; once diesel prices exceeded those of gasoline, sales dropped sharply. (See chart at right.)

Resources

Comments

shigley

I would imagine King Abdulla could buy enough solar panels to cover the entire kingdom with pocket change. Sure would make good target practice for the muslim radicals. He could also buy some of those Japanese mini-reactors and bury them in the sand....and strike oil in the process.
Why do we even bother. It's like offering a free steak to a cattle baron.

bazerker

@shigley

You can’t make a nuke out of a solar panel.

bata

@ Paul

...but what do older people do with fixed incomes to heat their homes?

Replace the oil burner with a coal boiler? Back to the future!!!

P Schager

...but what do older people do with fixed incomes to heat their homes?

Uh, choose one or more:
(1) Switch to cellulosic renewable fuel like wood pellets (this is back to the future)
(2) Upgrade insulation
(3) Add solar heating
(4) Put in a heat pump, which will be able to make good use of renewable electricity like wind, especially if plenty of heat storage is used
(5) Live in a basement
(6) Use vegetable oils (probably soon to include an algae oil option)
(7) Get cogeneration heat
(8) Switch to natural gas (which could be made renewable)
(9) Add a heat recovery ventilator
(10) For those not into taking advanced action, turn down the
thermostat, put on a sweater, drop heat from unneeded rooms and maybe live denser.

Pricey oil news always comes with these hardship, cornered people, heartstrings-puller arguments. I try to console myself by trying to think of arguments why maybe they're not driven by people's investments in oil (most everybody's vested in oil somehow) or those of their millieu. Unfortunately, I always draw a blank.

bata

P Schager
(1) Switch to cellulosic renewable fuel like wood pellets

The only place to buy wood pellets is from manufacturers in Pennsylvania. You have to get a entire 24 ton load and the shipping cost is as much as the pellets which aren’t cheap .

(2) Upgrade insulation

-done

(3) Add solar heating

… can’t run the pipes through the walls. Not much sun in the winter.

(4) Put in a heat pump, which will be able to make good use of renewable electricity like wind, especially if plenty of heat storage is used

Can’t run the air ducts through the walls.

(5) Live in a basement

– you’ve got to be kidding me! Isn’t that elder abuse?

(6) Use vegetable oils (probably soon to include an algae oil option)

Where am I going to get 275 gallons of vegetable oil?

(7) Get cogeneration heat

Get real ... you’ve got to be kidding! There isn’t a source within 500 miles of any house in this country!

(9) Add a heat recovery ventilator

– good idea! but where am I going to get the heat?

(10) For those not into taking advanced action, turn down the
thermostat, put on a sweater, drop heat from unneeded rooms and maybe live denser.

There all done already. 55 degress, 2 sweaters and a coat. If I get any denser, I’ll be a statue.

paul

Fix income means they don't have the money for any of the above mentioned upgrade.
The price of most things, ie. wood, pellet and coal all carry cost. A ton of wood in approaching 300 plus the cost of a stove and the labor that goes with it. Coal is the same thing. Pellet also.
George W removed heating assistance and the only one who is doing anything about it ( a PR stunt ) is Hugo Chavez.
To put in a natural gas system is 6k plus in my area. Already checked.
Either they try to sell their house and rent or loose it like so many others.
That is not right!
I am not elderly but I see the effects.

Bob Bastard

(11) Electric baseboard. Not nearly as efficient as a heat pump, but much lower capital costs.

HarveyD

Here is another trick or two to reduce electric heating bill by 50%. Use electric heaters with built in heat storage (good for 24+ hours). Heat them up (recharge) at night only when power is much cheaper, use the accumulated heat (as required) the rest of the day.

Of course, you may get about the same power savings with (easy to install) split Inverter type, very high efficiency (SEER 22+) heat pumps, where outside temperatures don't drop below -17C too often. The same unit(s) will give you very low cost air conditionning. The variable speed Inverter type heat pumps are very quiet inside and outside.

The comments to this entry are closed.