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Hello everyone. I have been waiting since the 70's for a rational response to our dependancy on oil. I remember getting up early to get in line two hours before the gas station opened so I would be able to get gas before the station ran out.

One thing puzzels me though. I know that the currently high prices for gas are driving this country to come up with better options. But the Europeans have faced high prices for decades. Why havent they been a leading force in developing new technologies(such as better batteries) and leading the "charge" away from oil?

Thanks
 

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Great question. For whatever reason, Europeans aren't willing to work as hard or smart as Americans to maintain a high standard of living. Perhaps the great wars lowered their expectations for the quality of life, but the US developed a "we can do anything" mentality, and refuse to accept what is handed to us.
 

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One thing puzzels me though. I know that the currently high prices for gas are driving this country to come up with better options. But the Europeans have faced high prices for decades. Why havent they been a leading force in developing new technologies(such as better batteries) and leading the "charge" away from oil?

Thanks
They did something, they developed public transport (Subway, Train, TGV)

They don't use their car as much as we are.

Great question. For whatever reason, Europeans aren't willing to work as hard or smart as Americans to maintain a high standard of living.
Sometime you should refrain from posting... What you just said is just stupid, you need to travel more and listen less CNN/Fox news
 

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Hello everyone. I have been waiting since the 70's for a rational response to our dependancy on oil. I remember getting up early to get in line two hours before the gas station opened so I would be able to get gas before the station ran out.

One thing puzzels me though. I know that the currently high prices for gas are driving this country to come up with better options. But the Europeans have faced high prices for decades. Why havent they been a leading force in developing new technologies(such as better batteries) and leading the "charge" away from oil?

Thanks

The answer is that oil is (was) still cheap for most Europeans. Their high pump prices were just a form of taxation. They have to pay less taxes elsewhere and they normally don't drive as far as Americans. Many did go to smaller more efficient cars and also developed clean diesel technology and better public transportation however. The New VW golf gets almost 70 mpg running on diesel! That's great. Same with the Japanese. Both have excellent small cars that are very common on the roads today. Their transition to battery power will be much easier than for us trying to convert SUV and giant trucks and then figuring out how both can share the road. Ouch.

Remember that the situation is much different today. The high price Europeans paid was not the actual cost of the energy. Now that the actual cost of the energy goes up it effects everything including food, goods, services, etc. People have to cut everywhere.

With gas reaching almost $10 a gallon in France and $11 a gallon in Turkey even Europe is having major problems. Those that say it’s just the value of the US dollar have no idea what they are talking about. Europe and Japan (near $7 a gallon) are starting to hurt and the pain will only get worse as the easy fixes are exhausted. The good thing is that real pain results in real change. You ever hear of no pain no gain? Well no pain no change. Things are going to change at an incredible pace. They have to... There is no other choice.
 

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I would say the Europeans and Japanese have learned to cope with the previously high (to us) prices of gas. They built mass transit, drive tiny cars, lots of scooters, bicycles and started switching to diesel. However, the new price of fuel is beating them up over there too. Sad truth is, it's a lot easier to just say "build a better battery" than it is to do it. It's not for lack of desire for better energy storage device over the years that has kept it out of reach for so long, it's just the fact that petroleum based fuels are so damn good, and until recently, reasonably priced. Now the race is on.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hello everyone

I'd just like to thank everyone for their comments.

Thankyou
 

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Europeans use 30% less fuel per person than Americans so it looks like they made the shift in driving habits long ago that Americans are making now. As a consumer all you can do is vote with your wallet. They did. That's why diesel powered cars are so popular in Europe. They already get similar gas mileage as the hybrids.

The issue isn't the consumers, it's the car manufacturers. All the American car makers sell cars in Europe so the idea that it's Europeans that haven't done the work is silly. If it was profitable then the question becomes why didn't all the world's car manufacturers (including the GM, Ford, Chrysler) develop better batteries for the European market. The answer is the technology just wasn't advanced enough to warrant the cost/benefit over diesels that were already getting 30-50mpg (diesel fuel only recently became significantly more expensive than regular fuel).

Most of the developments in Lithium batteries have just occured over the past 2 years. The Lithium batteries before that were definitely not cost effective. Tesla uses the standard batteries but they charge a $60k premium to the same car running on gas (Lotus Elise). The Lotus already gets up to 30mpg so it's certainly not cost effective. The European manufacturers have been focused on hydrogen as the follow up and never really considered that batteries would ever make a viable case. It took a very sharp change with quickly advancing battery tech, exploding gas prices, and a major refining shortage for diesel to get batteries looking as attractive as they do today.
 
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