Thursday, May 22, 2008

Petrol prices hit 162.9c per litre and still no action on public transport

Petrol prices have just hit a record high of $1.62 per litre in Australia, even though petrol is still cheaper in comparison to Europe ($2.25 in Italy, $2.28 in France, $2.33 in UK, $2.45 in Denmark).

As demand (mainly from China) increase and supply dwindles, this trend is set to continue quite rapidly, as I have noted previously.

Kevin Rudd said today that "unfortunately there is no silver bullet for petrol prices" on television tonight. I beg to differ. Fortunately, there are at least two silver bullets.

1.CNG conversions and refuelling infrastructure for cars, trucks and buses

While natural gas supplies are finite, it is a cleaner and cheaper fuel than petrol. We should be using it for transport now.

2. Improved public transport and more cycle paths

The impact of petrol and fuel price rises on household incomes will be reduced if people have practical alternatives to cars. Improved public transport and better cycle paths provide us with options for lower emissions and cheaper transport. Unfortunately, the federal budget provided no funding for either.

We need leadership and funding from federal and state governments for both these opportunities as we shift towards a carbon constrained economy.



Anonymous said...

The words leadership, funding and emissions shouldn't be together unless it's an answer to "give an example of an oxymoron under Labor".

Chervil said...

I went to see our local mechanic about converting our (old) Camry station wagon to LPG and was told that it was not worth it, as the Camry was already relatively fuel efficient (tell that to my wallet...) and I would not end up spending much less on LPG and I would definitely not get my money back over the remaining lifetime of the car. The conversion means that you have to add considerable weight to your car, and a litre of LPG does not give you the same mileage as a liter of petrol. According to my mechanic, LPG conversions really only make sense for large vehicles such as 4 wheel drives or large utes.