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April 24, 2008

It’s Here! The Electric Car!


Jim Fraser at The Energy Blog writes a nice article about the advent of electric cars. This is the real advent. We’re talking mass production here, not some entry in a science fair. Well, they’re starting out at 1 or 2 cars a week, but hope to get up to 100/month by next year.

Tesla Motors announced that it is starting regular production of the Tesla Roadster, an electric car. 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, 200 mile range between charges. (It runs on laptop batteries. )

Put your order in now, and start saving your pennies. Base price is $109,000.

Think Global (Norwegian Co.) is planning to introduce its electric car, Th!nk City to North America in 2009.

Electric cars are nothing new to Think Global. This company has 17 years of experience in the electric vehicle biz, ans has 1,200 vehicles on Norwegian roads.

We’re thinking Green!

Filed under:Alternative Energy,Vehicle News | by Pump Girl @ 8:38 pm | 

April 21, 2008

A Closer Look at the Oil Price Spike


James Hamilton at Econbrowser, one of our recommended sites, takes a thoughtful look at oil prices. Examining data from a variety of sources (check out the charts) he notes that there has been a small increase in the production of oil, and excitement about some new reserves.

He urges us to consider oil prices in the context of the increase in other commodity prices. He concludes as follows:

Instead I believe that the price of oil, like the price of all the other storable commodities, and for that matter the dollar cost of a euro, is primarily responding to the Fed’s decision to move the real interest rate strongly into negative territory.

But once again the Fed has a golden opportunity to prove me wrong. Fed funds futures prices currently reflect an expectation that the Fed will make one more cut to 2% at the meeting at the end of this month, and then stay there. Here’s a prediction for you. If the Fed surprises the markets by holding steady at 2.25%, all those commodities will begin to crash within hours of the news.

From a very different perspective, T. Boone Pickens has reversed his prior prediction that oil would move lower, to $90 a barrel by the second quarter. Presenting to a group of Georgetown students he said that he “missed” and has covered his short position. “There are only 85 million barrels of oil in the market every day,” Mr. Pickens added. “I don’t think you can get it above 85 million – lock that number in, and we’ll see if I’m right.” Check out MarketBeat for the entire story.

Filed under:Fuel Price Trends | by OldProf @ 10:32 am | 

April 16, 2008

More Fuel For Thought


April 10 marked the 100th day of 2008. Tom Kloiza of Speaking of Oil recaps the numbers and gives us his comments.

Jim Fraser of The Energy Blog gives us some pause for thought about global warming: Climate Change Confirmed, but Global Warming Is Canceled. Not so sure we buy this one.

For inquiring minds from The Oil Drum. The scoop on winter vs. summer gasoline. Yes, there is a difference. No, you can’t buy it in winter and save it for summer to save $$. (Hope I didn’t spoil the ending for you.)

OMGoodness, oil futures over $115 today. Settled at $114.93. Phew!

What do you think about McCain’s gas tax cut proposal? Experts are skeptical.

Massive oil field discovered off Brazil. “Unofficially.” But it’s way, way down at the bottom of the deep, blue sea, so not a snap to pump it out.

Filed under:Energy,Fuel cost,Fuel Price Trends,Fumes,Gas price | by Pump Girl @ 7:28 pm | 

April 4, 2008

An Easy Way To Save At The Pump–Work From Home


Bob Sullivan of the Red Tape Chronicles points out the obvious solution to relief at the pump – telecommute a couple of days a week.

Companies don’t see it quite that clearly. Only about 20% of employees telework. Trust issues and security issues seem to still be in the way.

Here are tips Sullivan got from Tim Ferriss (The Four-Hour Work Week) to convince the boss about the upside of a telecommuting arrangement. Most important: Make it about the business ie saving the company money, etc., not about you.

–Make it an easily reversible decision: Suggest a very brief trial period for working at home — perhaps two days during the next month. Promise a thorough review when the month is over, and profess a willingness to scrap the plan if it doesn’t work. That will make saying yes less risky for your boss. It also sets up the next tip.

–The “puppy dog ploy:” Every salesman knows this one. Picture the salesman at the pet store saying, “Just take him home for a day, and if it doesn’t work out, bring him back.” No one ever brings back a puppy. Once you get a foot in the door (or rather, out the door) it will be much easier to take telecommuting to the next level. After a month passes, document how productive you are, and slowly increase the amount of time you spend out of the office.

–Suggest a Wednesday: If you ask for a Monday or a Friday to telecommute in your first foray, Ferriss said, that will sound too much like you simply want a three-day weekend. By offering up a middle-of-the-week day, your request sounds more like a business proposal.

–Don’t give up: Here’s an offer your boss can’t refuse. Offer to work extra from home a couple of Saturdays during the next month, free to the company. What boss would say no to that? Then, document how productive you are. Include things like the lack of interruptions by co-workers. Taking the initiative will impress the boss and being productive will make your case hard to refute.

–The reverse strategy: In your next round of salary negotiations, ask for travel expenses. You won’t likely get them, but you will have a fall-back point to offer — less commuting. You will also have made a point about gas expenses.

–Remember, bosses are people: They have to justify their decisions, too — both to their boss, and to your peers. Don’t make it hard for them. Understand their fears and challenges. “If you ask for a personal perk, they’ll have to give it to everyone else,” Ferriss said. Instead, hand the boss a rational business decision she can defend. Even if your ultimate motivation is a cheaper gas bill, frame the conversation as a good-for-the-bottom-line strategy and you’ll dramatically increase your odds of success.

Filed under:Fuel cost,Fuel Cost Control,Fuel Price Trends | by Pump Girl @ 6:35 pm | 

April 2, 2008

Americans Cut Back on Driving


Obviously none surveyed have a 16-yr old son with a driver’s license. Nontheless, we have a slight decline in miles driven.

Twin forces of high gas prices and the economy have people thinking hard.

If you don’t have a job, these prices are doubly hard,” says Michael Swanson, an economist with Wells Fargo Economics in Minneapolis.

Analysts estimate another $0.25/gal by Memorial Day. Could be worse. They also say the price could get to $4 by summer. That will make everybody check their wallets.

Filed under:Fuel cost,Fuel Price Trends | by Pump Girl @ 10:46 am |