This morning we have The Colonel with us, our conversation revolves around the "Bitumen Bubble" and cars.
Q- Colonel Good Morning...what is the bitumen bubble?
A- Connect the dots, and its becoming more transparent that there is a lot of oil available, more than we thought a generation ago. Bitumen is the tar sands.
Q- Between the tar sands, fracking, shale, is North America floating on oil?
A- Its starting to look like it.
Q- If its becoming obvious that we are floating on oil, why are we paying so much for gas?
A- Taxes, upholding an infrastructure, we have shut down refineries, a whole bunch of reasons, but we are not running out of oil.
Q- What was peak oil?
A- Imagine immense oil tanks in the earth, at some point one would reach the top of the bell graph, between finding new oil, consumption, and depletion. Once you reach the peak its a downward slide on the depletion side (emptying the tanks).
Q- Its no longer the case?
A- Does not look like it for the foreseeable future.
Q- How about the price of gas?
A- We have known for several years that when gas gets close to $1.50 a liter its the pain treshold, it will not go down to uphold the infrastructure, but it will not go up. Who am I to speculate on the price of gas.
Q- Will more stringent fuel economy progress?
A- Absolutely...its the right thing to do...from several perspectives...congestion being one.
Q- How will the auto industry adjust or cope.
A- Pick ups will keep on selling, small cars (fuel economy) might just stabilise.
Q- How about hybrids?
A- Hybrids are a propulsion mode, folks that prefer an hybrid electric propulsion will continue to acquire hybrids.
Q- Where do you see diesels?
A- Diesels, catalytic converters, urea injection, 1,000 kms on a tank, at some point the trade off, to not really needing a diesel in any passenger vehicle will be debated.
Q- Are you implying that if a vehicle is not working/pulling a load a diesel is not required.
A- Precisely, at a GVW of 3,000 kilos you don't need a diesel, cars, and SUV's do not reach 3,000 kilos at 3,000 kilos and higher a diesel becomes a consideration and at a certain point an absolute necessity.
Q- Where do you see gas engines?
A- We have known for some time that V12 would become V8's with turbos, V8's would become V6's with turbos, V6's would become 4 cylinders with a turbo, and 4 cylinders would become 3 cylinders with a turbo. Its all there with various manufacturers touting what fits for their particular applications.
Q- These turbo motors how good are they?
A- In cars they work fine, in trucks with light loads they work fine, once the loads start getting up there, would you rather have a V6 with twin turbos working away, or a naturally aspirated V8 working away, or perhaps a diesel.
Q- Where is fuel economy headed?
A- It will progressively improve, especially in city, congestion, surface street applications and usage of vehicles.
Q- On the highway?
A- We all know that you need a certain level of power to overcome wind resistance, time is an increasingly precious commodity, folks tend to drive faster than slower, highway fuel economy ratings are calculated at speeds that no one drives.
Q- Is it fair to say that we might have to re conceptualise some of our thinking?
A- Some...we will have to re evaluation many of our established assumptions and beliefs.
Q- We can keep on going...but Thank You or your thoughts this morning.
A- Fascinating subject, its a start, although we had better stop for this morning.