$8 a litre

The CSIRO says petrol could reach $8 per litre by 2018, due to supply peaking, then declining. (Of this, even at a cost of $10 per tonne of carbon, only 25 cents would be an emissions charge.)

Jayne’s history blog notes that this month in 1940, “Petrol rationing was introduced, with motorists permitted to travel only 2,000 miles per year.”

Paying $8 per litre might do the same thing, of course. But it’s probably worth considering options to protect the supply and prices for people in regional areas. Even with the best public transport network in the world across capital and regional cities, they are likely to be stuck with car travel.

My current estimate, based on my roughly 100km driving per week and theoretical fuel consumption (7.98 litres per 100km in the ol’ rustbucket Magna) and $1.60 per litre, is I’m paying $638 per year on petrol. At $8 petrol, in my current car (which I’m planning on trading in for something smaller, soonish, like, when I get around to it) and current driving habits (which I’m expecting to reduce after 2009) it would be $3,194. Yeouch.

Work it out yourself:

  • For cars up to 2003, get your vehicle mileage from Fuel Consumption database. Take the consumption figures and multiply the City figure by 0.37 and add the Highway figure multiplied by 0.63 to get the theoretical combined figure.
  • For cars post-2003, use the Green Vehicle Guide, which will give you the combined consumption figure.
  • Annual fuel cost = Kilometres per year / 100 * Litres per hundred km * Cost per litre

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “$8 a litre”

We could do better at public transport – and a lot of other policy areas – if we stretched our mind beyond the urban fringes and, with regard to public transport,the inner city we might start to get good policy for all Australians. Out of interest, could I ask how many members in the outer fringes such as Narre Warren etc does the PTUA have? I only ever hear from people in the inner city and I thought single Mums with prams living somewhere near Fountaingate would be ripe for the organising. So if people in the outer suburbs can’t be heard in the daily press in a manner that gets people talking about policy to politicians then guess what? Admittedly, in some regional and rural areas (where I’ve spent most of my life) the local govt and the pollies are not all that innovative. I am an expatriate North Australian and speak from the sad experience of what passes for a highway between Sarina and Port Douglas. Townsville once had a suburban rail system and in this day of petrol shortages and better trains I would have thought that the area within a two hour journey of Townsville (our largest tropical city) would be a prime area for a regional rail service. But is there? So first things first. Eyes and vision should go beyond picket fences and coffee shops.

Wow, that’s scary. Our car does about as much driving as yours, 6000K per year. Recent petrol price rises have had, well, no impact on when or where we use it. But three grand a year? At that point, the operating costs start to make the holding costs look reasonable!

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