How healthy would the U.S. economy be if in five years from now, the average gas price were to be $7.25 per gallon, never to decline, and still on its way up?
Whether you believe this will happen – and if it does things will be OK or not – a car like the Chevy Volt, for which we have a one-year review video posted below – can travel around 38 miles more or less on electric power – with gasoline backup. Since it is a part-time EV, the Volt is resistant to rising fuel costs, and is a hedge against the economic decline that some say could follow assuming prices do rise.
Do you realize how utterly dependent this civilization we’ve built is upon oil? Petroleum is used for way more than just making combustible fuels. It is used in chemical manufacturing, and actually, nearly every man-made object we have come to enjoy in our modern lives has some tie-in to oil and its byproducts. Can you think of anything that doesn’t?
The person who submitted this Volt review video is more than in tune with these realities. He is a Peak Oil advocate who goes by the name of MrEnergyCzar. Regulars here have no doubt seen his comments on this Web site, and in the forum.
He, as were many of you, was one of the early ones in line to buy a Volt. His motivation was it was part of his 10-year plan to prepare for the effects of how things could go considering most independent oil experts say conventional petroleum production peaked in 2006, and as for the U.S., that event happened in 1970.
MrEnergyCzar believes that society won’t grow by burning more and more lower grade oil resources, like tar sands or heavy oil, that take more money and energy to extract and process.
“I cannot control oil geology, but I can mitigate some of the peak oil potential negative effects on my home, life and family with careful planning, change, persistence, sacrifice and perseverance,” says MrEnergyCzar. “In other words, I’m creating my own peak oil insurance policy.”
That’s his rationale, and he’s sticking to it. Whether your personal reasons to be interested in the Volt involve reducing carbon emissions, other pollutants, improving energy security, national security, patronizing an American business, or merely paying less in monthly gas bills, it does not really matter.
MrEnergyCzar’s one-year review video has you covered, but just so you know, his concern is the global macro economy given the world uses oil for far more than just burning to power our personal vehicles.
He is writing a book on the subject from which I reviewed an excerpt. It actually pulled me in, and got my attention with straight facts evenly delivered. He has given this topic a lot of research, and his approach comes across as rational and his arguments are cogently presented, but I won’t give the book’s details away here.
As for how the Volt fits into the book’s storyline, that I’ll share. Like any car, the Volt also requires oil to build, but once it’s in your possession, it can conceivably use very little oil to run, which at least is half the battle.
MrEnergyCzar says he gets around 300 mpg in his Volt given he usually stays on electric power minimizing the need to draw from the fuel tank. And to get his electricity, he uses surplus solar generated juice from his utility free New England home along with charging at work via a donated charger. He adapted the way he lives to be in sync with the amount of power the sun provides for his home and car.
His approach to predicted petroleum decline and rising prices, he said, was not to put his head in the sand and deny. Nor was it to scream doom and gloom or head for the hills.
Instead, it was and is to progressively wean his suburban lifestyle away from unnecessary consumption – while retaining a high quality of life in suburbia. So, assuming petroleum does become more and more scarce, he will not be caught short.
While he does make a small income from his advocacy efforts, they have been mostly on him. His day job is in the helping profession with a nonprofit, and he’s a helper by nature. He spends many hours per month developing his social network to express what is essentially a sideline passion he’s researched extensively since 2007.
He says he does not expect people to necessarily buy into all he says at once, but be forewarned, he has done his homework. He is also obviously intelligent, sane, and so … assuming you are too, he may be worth listening to more, if you’re not already in tune with his worldview.
And in any case, he gives a nice straightforward review of the Volt from his personal perspective which does not require belief in anything except MrEnergyCzar speaks from the heart, and GM has engineered one fine extended-range electric car.
Oh also, in the video he mentions a “red dot” on the graphic pasted on the back of his bumper. What does it mean?
It represents where we are about to be or will be during most of the Volt’s life in terms of the “conventional” oil production curve.
If you have other observations or questions you can address them as usual in the comment section below.
And if you like the video, this could be a good one to share with those misinformed about the Volt.
This entry was posted on Friday, October 19th, 2012 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.