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The Silver Lining Of High Gas Prices

Mar 29, 2008
While most people cringe when filling up their car these days, I look at the silver lining and think it is a good thing. You may think I'm crazy but I have a reasonable explanation. Twenty years from now we will look back and realize that the high gas prices, while inconvenient at the time, helped create a movement. A movement that spurred innovation and helped create change in the biggest oil consuming nation in the world.

Americans are getting fed up with the high gas prices, and this will increase the demand for fuel efficient cars, alternative forms of energy and the adoption of existing technologies like hybrid vehicles. Car manufacturers have been selling large fuel inefficient SUV's for years now, and with good reason as that is what the public wanted. Now the public is starting to demand more fuel efficient cars and the manufacturers are starting to respond.

High gas prices have already helped lead to a record increase in hybrid vehicle sales in 2007 and the trend will continue in 2008. I don't know about you, but I can't take my 15 minute drive to work without seeing at least five Prius's, whereas one year ago I may see one at best. Currently hybrid adoption is at an all time high and many people are looking at purchasing a hybrid vehicle from a money saving standpoint. Sad as it is, many people may be forced into becoming more environmentally aware. Sure it's a good thing, but it would be nice if people changed because of a choice made strictly in line with saving the planet rather than saving a few bucks

Toyota and Honda are currently at the forefront of the hybrid technology and have already invested billions of dollars developing the technology. Many manufacturers are trying to catch up to them and as a result companies like Nissan and Ford have licensed Toyota's hybrid technology. In the mean time they will try to develop their own hybrid systems. They realized that they needed to get hybrid cars on the road as soon as possible because that is what the consumer is demanding. The fact that these companies would use their competitor's hybrid technology shows that they realize the importance of creating these kinds of vehicles now.

The other ripple effect of high gas prices are they help spur innovation. Alternative energy sources are currently be researched and developed into real world applications at a rapid pace. While many of these fuel sources have been known about for years, they were usually tabled at the concept stage because of cost and the consumer demand wasn't there. Well now the demand is here and companies are scrambling to be the first to offer the next big technology such as hydrogen, diesel-hybrids, bio-diesel hybrids, and plug-in hybrids to name a few.

We have been spoiled with reasonable gas prices for a long time and this was bound to happen eventually. While my checkbook certainly doesn't like the high gas prices, I really think in the long run we will look back and realize that it needed to happen.
About the Author
Visit the Hybrid Jungle to learn more information about hybrid cars. If you want to interact with a hybrid car community you may want to visit the forum.
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