Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm no expert: gas and rising prices

Okay, oil prices are going up, so gas prices are going up, so the price of transportation is going up, so the price of any item that needs to be transported by vehicles using gas is going up...

I wonder how long it'll be before Amazon starts charging extra for "standard delivery..."

Produce and whatnot, anything that ends up on sale in a store somewhere that needs to be moved to that store, is carried by players in an industry devoted to transporting such things, in general, hauling whatever, or in specific, hauling exclusively cars, liquid gases, clown suits, whatever. I don't know the numbers, but that's gonna be a lot of freakin trucks, right? A lot of freakin engines. A lot of freakin gas tanks.

Wouldn't it be a huge win if someone built an alternative fuel or hybrid adapter/modifier, engine, or replacement vehicle specifically for these machines and this industry? With passenger/family hybrids, the makers and distributors have to win sales, one by one, individual after individual. But selling to this industry, a maker wins in gross everytime it wins, potentially taking orders for fleets of units.

For the of the independent contractor, which movies and television tell me are out there, the cost of such a retooling or replacement should be subsidized (or maybe even sponsored somehow) by the businesses that ship with his truck, on both ends, if such an arrangment is possible. That is, the product business (foods, appliances, whatnot), and the retail business (supermarket, BestBuy, and such) could pay into a pool that helps pay for these mechanical upgrades. That could go for fleets as well, right? The ultimate price of a product on the shelf is influenced by the cost to transport it, so if the means of transportation uses a cheaper alternative or less fuel, that price gets to stay low.

Wouldn't this be a good and quickly money-back-making inroad into establishing alternative fuel stations? That's a limiting factor to getting a car company totally committed to production and sale of a totally non-gasoline engine, right? That you can't sell a car that can't travel more than a couple hundred miles from home base or an exotic fuel reservoir or production or conversion station. Why not start with stations that serve trucks? They're a guaranteed customer along certain routes, right?

Eh, I'm no expert.

Keep on keepin on~

1 comment:

Larry Kyrala said...

Yeah, despite the "optimism" of the green movement, it still costs a lot to be green.

Of course, the free market should help take care of this naturally -- as oil supplies dwindle, the prices will continue to rise until competing technologies become attractive. (For example, the Prius that looked a bit overpriced a couple years ago is starting to look like a deal with these gas prices.) Also, it's possible that some of the R&D on fuelcells pays off and they might become cheaper to produce and support.