Hybrid owners are now only 35% likely to make a repeat purchase. Factoring out the Prius that number drops to 25%. Considering that information, Toyota takes an odd turn. Now Toyota looking at more radical design changes. Toyota has had more success with the Prius than any other hybrid has in the world. Prius buyers are also incredibly loyal. Prius is also lauded as a great car to convert to an electric car. And Camry is the best selling car in North America. When looking at competitive stats remember that Toyota competes with GM an Chrysler who got propped up by bailouts. Some people think an over emphasis on design and cyclical redesign drives down resale value and drives a away value buyers. Toyota would be smart to remember why customers keep coming back. For Toyota’s best customers purchase decisions are all about value. And their competitors struggle mightily to catch up. I have already blogged on GM struggles for value here and here.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Japan is leaving many of its Nuclear reactors offline for a variety of reasons. The result is Japanese imports of oil and gas have gone up considerably. As I have said before there is no perfect solution for energy, and for Japan I can see how, in a post fukushima world, is wary of the risks. However, this is going to have a real increase in CO2 emissions and make Japan more dependent on a less stable middle east. Particularly as Iran tries to join the nuclear club, and as Iran’s oil exports on constricted by sanctions. This could serve as a portent of what the future holds for Germany, as it plans to shutter its nuclear reactors by 2022. Germany has no need to do this as they are not at a high risk from a large earthquake or tsunami.
Source: Washington Post
In the energy market there are no options that are problem free, clean, renewable, safe, reliable and scalable. US policy makers should be aware of this, because no matter what is done there will be people who are unhappy. Getting the best solution is about choosing the best of a set of imperfect options.
From 1981 in a paper called “Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” published in the journal Science. This very early paper on global warming was strongly predictive and projects delta+4C by 2100 ce (also in line with current projections). It also provides a very detailed explanation of how global temperature change was discovered and analyzed. Several gasses are examined not just CO2. As interesting from a math models perspective as from a climate science one. The who paper explains the part of the “global cooling” errors.
Algae For Profit.Nice Tidbits in this video incude Exxon investing in algae bio fuels, continental airlines flying a test flight with bio fuels and ENN, a large energy company in China investing in Bio Fuels. Proof of concept work has already shown oil can be made and used from Algae. Now, all that remains is showing that it can be scaled in a cost effective manner. Chevron has stated it does not see Algae replacing fossil fuels completely, but Bill Gates and Exxon have bet a combined $700 Million that it will make a profitable business in the years to come. If the estimate of $60-$80 per barrel is correct, then the current market price of $107 a barrel would make a tidy profit.
The proved reserves break down of raw data is North America 5.5% (73.3 Thousand Million Barrels), South and Central America 14.9% (198.9 Thousand Million Barrels), Europe and Eurasia 10.3% (136.9 Thousand Million Barrels), Middle East 56.6% (754.2 Thousand Million Barrels), Africa 9.6% (127.7 Thousand Million Barrels), and Asia/ Pacific 3.2% (42.2 Thousand Million Barrels). This 2009 data prior to the Bakken Shale upgrading from 2 thousand million to 18-24 thousand million barrels, due to new drilling techniques.
Just watched Newt’s energy informational. Like most people, I am happy about the good news in North Dakota. However the former Speaker loses a lot of credibility, when runs fast and loose with facts. Why was gas so cheap when Obama started his term? This was clearly due to reduced demand due to the Great Recession. See the US demand chart for oil attached with comparison to India and China. The data comes from petroleum company BP. Energy issues are particularly interesting to me, so I will be posting more on this. BTW, the chart shows how ineffectively the CAFE standards have worked in the US.
Drill Baby Drill? I did some quick math to figure out much much of a difference in the global oil market expanded drilling would make, and its about 2.88% . Clearly not enough to take us to $2.70/gal. Experts all agree oil consumption will increase over the next several years, particularly in China and global economic recovery and speculation are are also driving up gas prices. Yet, expert’s estimates vary on how much effect each of these factors is causing. And drilling will create some jobs, but estimates also vary on how many jobs and how many of those are long term. The US does export some petroleum, but banning that export could cause more harm than good by creating a trade war. The energy crisis has been going on since the Carter administration, if it was easy to fix we would have already fixed it. But the situation is not hopeless, many things can be doing to more smartly use what energy we have.
After reading reading that GM is going to halt production of the Chevrolet Volt I did some quick math and made the chart above. A electric car is not an environmental panacea because of the dirty energy used in making electricity and batteries. I did a five year analysis on how expensive gas has to get to make the volt worth while for the aver 20,000 mile a year, 50% city, 50% hwy driver. The answer is gas will have to average OVER $7.60 for the next five years. Less than that and drivers are spending less to drive a Cruze, which already has more space than the Volt. I am not a scientist, my understanding is battery life in these things is about 5 years. If the switch to electric vehicles requires most individuals to act against self interest, then its not going to happen. So how dumb is GM to invest in this sort of vehicle when this quick calculation shows how silly it is?