Sunday, October 16, 2005


Clean and quirky cars to dominate Tokyo show | Tech News on ZDNet

It seems to me that the best idea to come out of the Tokyo Motor Show is the Mazda Hybrid. This car runs on gas, hydrogen or electricity. The idea is to use hydrogen when available. In the next decade, it is anticipated that the zero emission hydrogen fuel cell will be in mass production. One problem is the chicken or the egg problem of developing a network of refueling stations.

The Mazda Hybrid is a neat solution. It would use hydrogen as often as possible but owners would not have to worry about making trips to places where hydrogen is not yet available.

By the way, if you don't believe oil will every return to $40 per barrel, then you don't believe in the law of substitution or the ingenuity of markets. I do believe. Thirty years ago, we used oil for many industrial processes and even to produce much of our electtricity. Today, we use more available and lower cost fuels to supply these needs. Now that oil has ratcheted up another knotch, oil will be replaced as the primary fuel for transportation as well.

Change takes time. Oil prices started the steep incline almost three years ago. Since that time, China has gone from annual increases in the use of oil at 14% reduced to zero! That number is correct, China will acutally use less oil this month than it did in October of 2004. Other very populous regions, such as Indonesia and India, have recently cut consumer subsidies. The G20 nations met this week and agreed to find ways to conserve energy.

The new democracy of Iraq, having agreed on a formula for the sharing of the oil wealth, will likely more than double production over the next few years. Hydrogen cars (alternative fuels), conservation and new production will eventually take the price of oil back below $40 per barrel. Airlines that have cut other costs will see profits hitting the bottom line when fuel costs go down. One should buy in anticipation. The major beneficiaries of lower oil will include CAL and AMR!
Hybrids Hit the Showrooms
Tokyo Motor Show
Mazda SENKU.