A number of economic experts are beginning to suggest … in public … that the world has gone past the point of peak oil and we’re entering a period where high demand for oil will continue but supply will gradually dwindle.
So what is the motoring industry doing about it?
Well of course we have the development of electric vehicles … something that is still in it’s infancy and, in countries where the distances between population centres is vast, something that’s not likely to be of much use for some years yet.
Then we have the development of hybrids … those vehicles that combine electric engines with the usual petrol engines. Some experts consider hybrids to be more of a diversion than an answer to the peak oil problem and you do have to wonder when you see some manufacturers producing hybrids that offer very little improvement in fuel economy when compared to their straight petrol equivalents.
And then you get some manufacturers who seem unable to escape from the past even though they are looking to the future. GM for example is about to release the Chevrolet Volt … an exciting development for an American car maker … but they have also just announced a big investment in the development of a new V8 engine.
Sometimes it makes you wonder.