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Free Cars in The Future and High Gas Prices

The year is 2021, and now cars are free!

Well, to be exact, fossil fuel powered cars are free.  The still growing electric car segment is still quite pricey.  Surprisingly, the Chevy Volt now cost $60,000, a 50% increase over the 2011 price of $40,000.  And the real shocker is that the Chevy Volt is now the most affordable of the wave  of electric cars on the market!

You see, gas prices are now $25 a gallon and the oil companies now provide free cars, as long as you use them, per the usage contract (daily for 5 years).  Of course any repairs would have to come out of the user’s pocket.

Seems like a good deal until you realize that gas prices are expected to increase another $5 before the year is up, and to accelerate at a higher rate every year after that!

Some clever neighbors will pool their money and buy a single car so they can carpool to work, but this is now illegal in the future because of capacity rules.  Oh it’s still happens and it’s hard to prove that this is what they are going, so most do it because they can’t afford the exorbitant prices of gasoline and diesel fuels…

Okay, the above scenario most like will never happen, but without a smooth transition period from oil to alternative sources of energy, it could really disrupt the lives of individuals, especially rural and suburban folks.

Back to 2011:

So this is why I think it’s best to drill oil for the time being.  Yes, let’s keep pushing alternative sources of energy (especially electric via solar and wind farms), but let’s not hurt the average American during our switch over!  After all, they are the segment that will get hit the hardest by higher fuel and food prices!

Higher food prices?  Yep, once gas prices go up for the farmers, they just pass the cost to the consumers.  Now you might think that’s wrong… but they have to make a living!  Both farmers and companies that aren’t profitable go out of business, and that means we all suffer!

Doesn’t it make sense to keep oil prices down by doing whatever is necessary until we get electric to be the main source of power for cars?  Not forever, but for a while…

Thanks for reading my soft rant!


15 Responses to Free Cars in The Future and High Gas Prices

  1. Gas prices are precisely the reason that I think we will double dip into another recession, although I think that it might not get called that if the time frame gets delayed. Housing prices have already begun to dip again.

    • I have that same fear, especially with the way our government is handling drilling in the US.

      I believe we are past the period where we can could it a double dip, but still it bites either way.

  2. Pull off the band aid as quick as possible! Delaying the inevitable is not a good idea because other countries are making investments in alternative energies. The solar panel was invented in the USA and we need to make more innovations like that. While gas is cheap, everything will be put off until later. Meanwhile China is spending a lot on R&D. We don’t want them to pass us by right?

    • Ironically, I have similar feeling and actually own a few solar stocks (FSLR to name one).

      But I totally believe that the transition can be handled better. Besided, many of the US companies (like FSLR), actually have more plants in areas where labor costs are extremely low.

      Solar’s like the wild wild west. The technology changes so quickly it’s mindboggling. With the likes of Solar thermal, solar ink, solar thin film, etc…

      China has the advantage because of cheap labor and cheap material costs.

      To really fix the US (and European countries in general) woes, they (the governments) needs to focus on labor wage rate inequality among the countries.

  3. Hey every hardship has a silver lining! High gas prices saw the death of obscene vehicles like Hummer and acceptance of cars like Prius. Even Chevy got behind clean energy with the Volt.

    Maybe something good will come out of this.

    • I know this is going to sound cliche, but I’m worried about the poor rural folks that live away from the city. The cost to drive may become so high that they can’t afford to drive anymore.

      Not to mention what the rising oil prices do to the cost of products that we buy, who want to pay $10 for a gallon of milk or $500 for a pair of cheap shoes?

      I’m sure it can be done better…

  4. Great article! 🙂

    I have to say, anyone who thinks we can be “shocked” into rapidly converting from an economy reliant on fossil fuels to one based on alternative energies is, to be nice, extremely naive.

    We can’t simply turn an infrastructure based upon fossil fuels over to one that accommodates alternative fuels without major disruptions that would surely collapse our economy and destroy our current standard of living.

    The truth all of the matter is nothing can beat the energy density of fossil fuels right now; there is simply no comparable substitute for hydrocarbons when it comes to fuel for transport.

    In our capitalist society, don’t think that if green technologies were economical there wouldn’t be more people jumping into the market — the only thing keeping alternative fuels alive are the billions upon billions of government subsidies tossed at them since the late 1970s.

    We’d all be much better served by investing that money in ways to improve our oil extraction technologies, and allowing us to exploit our plentiful reserves sitting in Alaska and the shallow waters off our coasts.

    All the best,

    Len Penzo dot Com

    • As a green, frugal blogger, I hate to say it, but you are 100% correct!

      I would like to get off of oil too, but not by causing the disruptions that such a sudden change would make, too many people would be hurt financially by such a change! I say, let’s drill in Alaska, and wherever the oil shale areas are (Montana?, Ohio, Pensylvania…). The solar technology is becoming more affordable every day (or so it seems), but until it can fully compete with oil, let companies do the drilling if they are willing to take the risk!

      Besides, I’ve never seen an passenger jet fly that was based off of solar technology… So even if we do embrace solar and other alternative sources of energy, we will still need oil/fossil fuel power to some capacity!

      Thanks for stopping by Len, great comment!

    • I am totally 100% behind you on this one. A cheap and abundant alternative is not yet ready to replace fossil fuels.

      Keep the drill bit moving, the recent technological advances opened up billions of oil barrels in shale across north America.

      Encouraging oil and gas development will create quality paying jobs and reduce dependency on imports.

      That does not mean we should ignore investing in alternatives. IMO oil will remain the king for the next decade.

  5. What about some bike improvements for the futuristic 2021? And some awesome bike infrastructure? As in bike lanes everywhere! Yes, people living 50 miles from work can’t ride there, but then why the heck are they living so dang far from work?! I don’t get it.

  6. I am dying to buy an electric car. I checked out the Leaf and the Volt, but I am waiting for the Ford Focus EV. It will come out later this year, but I will probably wait until the second model year, so they can work the bugs out.

    My prediction is that EVs will become more affordable and atractive as the technology matures. The current forecast is for batteries to double or tripple in range and drop in price by 66-75% in the next ten years.

    When EVs cost $20K and have a 300 mile range, more people will decide the skip the $5 gas.

  7. Electric cars are really no panacea. The batteries take a lot to build and dispose, and where is all of that electricity going to come from?

    The good thing is that Solar EV yields are increasing, but otherwise I think nuclear, in spite of the bad news especially with Japan, is the most realistic source of fossil-fuel alternative energy.