Cheap Gas Means Big Trucks Again?

I’m sure you’ve probably noticed by now that gas prices have dropped back down to under two dollars a gallon.  That’s 50% lower than they were this summer at their peak.  The reasons for the high and low gas prices are somewhat complicated, but at the same time they’re pretty simple.  Because our economy hit a recession before the rest of the world did, our dollar value was very weak compared to other currencies such as the euro.  The difference in currency value meant that gas prices in Europe didn’t actually change that much last year, but since our dollar value dropped dramatically the price of gas skyrocketed.  Now that the rest of the world’s economies are hurting like ours, gas prices go back to normal because our dollar value relative to other currency values has increased.

All this is interesting, but you really have to wonder what the end result of cheap gas once again will be.  Will people go back to buying their Hummer H2’s?  I’m not really sure.  One thing I do know is that people have a short memory.  Sure, gas prices were high, not so long ago, but when used see that big truck next time you’re buying a vehicle and gas prices are cheap, are you going to remember the four dollar gas? My guess is most people won’t.

Recently Google released some of their yearly keyword trend data, and there is a fascinating trend.  As gas prices skyrocketed people’s interest in hybrid vehicles and alternative fuels increased with it.  Now that gas prices have gone back down, interest in hybrid cars has gone down as well.  Coincidence? I doubt it.

It would be better for every one if people stopped buying these huge trucks just to drive around town.  It’s always fascinating to drive to the richer part of town to see soccer moms driving Cadillac Escalade’s just to go shopping at the grocery store.  Why on earth does anyone need an eight passenger vehicle just to go get groceries? Couldn’t they just have a small vehicle that they run around town in?

Gas prices are going to go back up.  It’s only a matter of time. Next time they hit four dollars a gallon, will we be ready? It’s hard to say but one thing is for sure, we’ve been warned.

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