Various calculations on fuel

Just watched a video on CNN.com with some Americans complaining that the gasoline prices have risen to $2.55 per gallon. So here are some (fun) calculations, using google
There are about 3.8 liters per us gallon. So the price of gasoline in the USA is about $0.67 per liter. Here in the Netherlands, fuel costs €1.43 per liter at the moment. This is about $1.88. That means that we pay about 2.8 times as much! So things could be worse. But on the other hand, the average American car gets around 3 kilometers per liter, which is about 7 miles per gallon. While that’s a very small number of parsecs per gigaliter, it’s actually a rather immense number of Angstroms per hogshead. Nonetheless, it’s not quite enough to compensate the lower gasoline prices.

Ok, ok: I may have exaggerated that figure a teensy weensy ;)
But it’s a fact that on average, American cars do not do well, mileage wise. Therefor, I hope that the high fuel prices will make more Americans aware of the need to do as little damage to our planet as is necessary to maintain a comfortable way of life.

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2 Responses to Various calculations on fuel

  1. Mike says:

    Hey I found your blog through your how-to on fusesmb, which is awesome and works really well, thanks! As an American I hear this stuff thrown around whenever gas prices go up and I think you should look deeper into the difference to find the true cause, taxes.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_tax
    If you run the numbers you’ll find that pre-taxes the costs are .518 Euros in the Netherlands and .426 Euros in the US (per liter). That is a difference of only 22%, not 180%. The taxes not raised on fuel in the US are raised in other areas, so it isn’t even like we are saving that money.
    Also important when talking about US gas prices: since most items, including food, in the US have to be driven to market a price change is far reaching. And most things have to driven to market because the US has 1/12 the population density of the Netherlands.
    But I wholly agree that we Americans drive cars that are way too big and thirsty. Thanks again for the how-to.

  2. Menzonius says:

    Hi, sorry for the late reply, but I have been very busy. Nice to hear you found the how-to useful, I really enjoy getting feedback on what I write here!

    Regarding the fuel prices, I think I understand what you mean. But there are some points where I disagree:

    If you run the numbers you’ll find that pre-taxes the costs are .518 Euros in the Netherlands and .426 Euros in the US (per liter). That is a difference of only 22%, not 180%.

    I include taxes in the price, because that is the price I pay the man selling me the fuel. Only what you feel in your wallet when you drive is what is going to make you *really* become more conscious about fuel-economy. The connection needs to be there.

    The taxes not raised on fuel in the US are raised in other areas, so it isn’t even like we are saving that money.

    It is hard for me to respond to this, because my response would depend on the exact nature of the tax. If raising taxes in other areas specifically rewards better fuel-economy, then that is fine by me. But if that’s the case, it’s not really showing from the types of cars Americans still prefer to buy. Could you provide an example?

    Also important when talking about US gas prices: since most items, including food, in the US have to be driven to market a price change is far reaching. And most things have to driven to market because the US has 1/12 the population density of the Netherlands.

    I think this is a misunderstanding. The Netherlands has one of the most extensive infrastructures in the world, we have the largest seaport in Europe (Rotterdam), the second busiest in the world: transport of goods is one of the *major* components that drives our economy. As a matter of fact, the fuel taxes, and many other taxes, are much less for vehicles intended purely for transport of goods. Only fuels for “normal” cars are taxed in this degree.

    Beyond that, I can tell you that in spite of the high taxes, the traffic congestions in the Netherlands are still getting longer every year. In fact, it’s one of the biggest problems we have in this country. We do not drive less, we simply buy cars with better fuel-economy.

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