Automakers can expect a favorable environment for lucrative truck and SUV sales well into next year, as the right conditions come together for a continued oil glut. That heralds lower prices at the pump, less painful driving, and less scrutiny of EPA mileage figures on Monroney stickers.
Oil supply and inventories are rising, even as demand falls off sharply, while overseas interests are conspiring to keep prices down — and in their favor. (Read More…)
Elon Musk tweeted his joy when a Norwegian paper announced a proposed ban of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles in the nordic country by 2025.
The proposal itself is built upon good intentions. By eliminating sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, tailpipe emissions will slowly reduce. The country is famously energy independent, thanks to massive offshore oil reserves, which can be converted into hydrogen or used to generate electricity. And electric vehicles are increasingly popular in the country thanks to massive incentives funded by oil exports.
The proposal has me wondering about something else entirely: could the fossil-fuel-vehicle ban have serious political ramifications in Europe? Norwegian serial drama Okkupert — Occupied in English — might have some answers.
What a difference a few years make.
Perhaps you’re old enough to remember when scientists warned us about an impending ice age. Today, climate change concerns have to do with global warming.
Just a few years ago, “peak oil” — the theory of terminal decline once we’ve reached the maximum extraction rate from known petroleum reserves — was popular. A couple of recent perspectives, however, indicate that we may not hit peak oil production and consumption for the foreseeable future — and that the price of oil may actually go down long-term. (Read More…)
Started in New York City in 1967 as an offshoot of the Chicago Music Show, the Consumer Electronics Show has grown to capture the interest and intrigue of automakers. Las Vegas now has two auto shows.
That, Volkswagen’s unending stream of German-accented apologies, why Ford might not be hitching itself to Google and how you can become an automotive journalist* … after the break!
The Jewish festival of Chanukah, pronounced Hanukkah by those who can’t handle guttural phonemes, starts on the 25th of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar, which corresponds this year to the evening of December 6th. Chanukah is an event that should resonate with car enthusiasts — after all, it celebrates a miracle involving oil (well, that and a victory in a military/cultural/civil war with the Seleucid Greeks and Hellenistic Jews).
After defeating the Seleucids and reclaiming Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, the Hasmonean Jews (aka Maccabees) found that there was only sufficient consecrated oil to light the Temple’s seven branched menorah, which was supposed to burn continuously, for just one day. It took about a week to prepare and purify new consecrated oil and, as the story goes, that one small jar of oil miraculously burned for eight days, till there was sufficient new oil.
Imagine growing up in the modern day world and having no future.
No education. No upward mobility. No right to pursue a better life beyond just a few crumbs of financial sustenance.
This is the reality in most Arab countries and former Soviet republics. It’s a world where opportunities are almost non-existent and certain cliques and clans determine who has the exclusive right to get ahead.
I grew up traveling the world in a family business — the food import business, to be exact. I have learned that in the West there is a tendency to believe folks can overcome Herculean odds in the pursuit of that better life, whatever and wherever it may be.
That opportunity just isn’t there in these places where even geniuses can be damned to a life of a terminally squalid environment. It’s a shame. But what if instead of investing billions of dollars in armaments and other forms of support to these idiotic regimes, we tipped the scales of supply and demand a bit in favor of the billions of little guys and little girls?
Let me explain.
TTAC Commentator Sam Hell Jr. writes:
I read with deep concern your notice that the Piston Slap mailbag was empty. You kindly answered my previous query about putting more conservative tires on my ’11 automatic tC (now at 51,000 miles), despite the fact that I erroneously addressed the email to your parasitic e-twin Sanjeev, and I’m happy to pester you/be of service once more. Please find, below, my questions, and thank you for your time.
Iran’s oil minister has said that an emergency OPEC meeting may be necessary to stem the tide of slumping worldwide oil prices, Reuters is reporting. Algeria has also called for an emergency meeting.
A barrel of crude oil slid to its lowest price last week of around $40, the lowest in more than six years. Record low gas prices could closely follow, which would help American drivers and car buyers, however the broader economic impact may be tougher to discern. Worldwide markets sank on Friday, largely on fears that China would slow its economic growth and instability in Greece could hamper European economies.
Break out the champagne and 7-liter engines. Have one on us, alright?
The Wall Street Journal and Reuters are reporting that despite a mild increase in crude, oil is hovering around $40 a barrel and it’s expected to further dip in coming months to a six-year low on a global glut of oil.
The national average for a gallon of gas could drop to as low as $2, Green Car Reports says, which would be the cheapest its been since January, and could approach historical lows from 2008.
Last time we checked in on the reportedly fussy Corvette Z06 engine, it was leaking vital fluids after Fox News reporter Gary Gastelu took it to the track.
Now it appears that Chevrolet has a fix for at least one of the Z06’s reported engine problems: change the oil, stat.
According to a General Motors spokesman, the catastrophic engine failures all seem to have three things in common: early production builds, oil contamination and low miles (under 2,000).
(Maybe that explains the one that bought the farm at 891 miles.)
To change or not to change? (photo courtesy: www.noria.com)
Sajeev, first let me thank you for your interesting article on Mazda rust last year. Ultimately I bought the Accord, which to me seemed to have the superior (and quite lovely) stick shift, even though the Mazda is reputed superior in that department.
I decided for kicks and giggles to get my oil tested by Blackstone, and I thought this might be a potential article for Piston Slap (not my adventure, but the practice of having it done).
Engines burn oil, but how much oil burn is normal is at the heart of a Consumer Reports study that examined nearly 500,000 new cars for how much oil they have to replace in their new car’s engine.
It’s a dirty, dirty business.