Illustrating the impact that higher fuel prices can have on consumption, the International Energy Agency reported that motor fuel consumption had dropped as much as 20% in Britain. The fall in usage is greater than in other countries, in part due to larger hikes (20% versus 14% on the Continent) and the prevalence of mass transport (while American drivers often have no options save planning trips better and staying closer to home).
From the Telegraph:
Petrol retailers have disclosed that fuel sales dropped sharply over the past few weeks and the latest figures appear to show that demand for petrol in Britain has slumped by as much as 20 per cent over the past 12 months…
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, Eduardo Lopez, the IEA’s chief oil analyst, said: “British motorists are clearly driving less. “They are switching to public transport, which is much easier to do in Britain than in America, where people living in the suburbs often have to drive whether or not they want to.”…
The cost of filling up the average family car is now in excess of £60 and it can take almost £80 to fill the tank of many popular models….
In Britain and throughout much of Europe, fuel protests have been triggered by the sharp rise in petrol prices and governments are struggling to deal with the consequences of the boom in the oil market.
At the same time, however, the British Government is actually trying to increase motoring taxes.”
that’s quite a bit less driving. it will be interesting to see what happens to consumption rates when governments that subsidize gasoline go bankrupt. this is the type of thing that tells me we’re near a turning point.
…actually, if you’re trying to get to a turning point in the UK you’ll need to give yourself extra time on the road, as everyone now drives so sloooooowly to save fuel.
UK car mileage started falling last year at an accelerating rate. Van mileage is increasing – probably partly because people are buying more stuff online rather than driving to the shops. Even the mighty IKEA has stopped insisting that customers drive to a store to worship in person.
Yes, we’ve experimented with getting Tesco to deliver the groceries. It works well for standardised items, but it’s no good for things where you’d like to pick and choose e.g. fruit and veg. For those I cycle to the market.