The lead story on the Channel 10 news in Queensland tonight was that some varieties of petrol have hit $2 a litre in cost. My son drives a Mazda Rx7, and he burns petrol to make it run.
The best advice the news boffins could give was to “fill up now!” Great, that’s going to lead to panic buying, just like in the UK. Unsurprisingly, there was no mention of buying an electric vehicle.
Why have petrol prices gone up so much? Amongst other issues around the global supply of energy, OPEC production levels got the most blame.
They had lowered production in 2020 due to less demand because of Covid. Now, they are reluctant to increase production because they are not sure if demand will hold, plus they are enjoying the high prices they are getting for crude.
If we look at the history of petrol prices what we can see is a steady increase, very rarely a decrease, and when there is, it is short lived.
|Petrol cents per litre||70||80||80||95||130||130||150||200|
While at college I worked part time as a service station attendant selling petrol. We were still in gallons at that time, but the price in 1973 worked out at about 15 cents a litre. That’s a long time ago. Do people remember when the price hit $1 a litre? I certainly remember when it dipped below a dollar for a short period of time in 2007.
My kids were over the moon they had just started driving. People were ecstatic. Didn’t last long though, did it?
In 2017 the petrol at Yamanto just west of Brisbane reopened after refurbishment and sold petrol at 99 cents a litre. It caused a traffic jam and they emptied their tanks – I know, I was there!
On the other hand, the price of electricity has remained relativly stable in recent years, as the growth of renewables kept a lid on wholesale prices, and network costs were brought under control.
When I bought my Tesla Model 3, I justified the large upfront cost of the car by calculating the amount of time it would take to pay the car off using the savings on fuel costs.
I thought it would be about 14 years. With the current petrol price hike it is down to 10. It’s time to buy electric.
David Waterworth is a researcher and writer, a retired school teacher who continues to provoke thought through his writing. He divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla.