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What happens when gasoline becomes illegal?

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by Brent, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. Brent

    Brent Member

    Apr 18, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    This article about Porsche's expected difficulty in meeting very strict emission control standards brings up a thought that I've been chewing on for awhile: it doesn't seem too far a stretch to envision a future where gasoline (or perhaps just gasoline cars) suffers the same fate as cigarettes and trans-fats: legislated to the point where it's all but illegal.

    I'm sure Porsche engineers will rise to the occasion of whatever standards arise in the near term. They've already announced their hybrid Cayenne. But if the clean trend continues, I'm betting they and all manufacturers will be forced to pay all-battery cars a very close look, if they haven't already.

    One interesting snippet from the article:

    Doesn't the Prius top out around 9 MPH on battery alone?
  2. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Aug 17, 2006
    Hamilton, Texas
    #2 tonybelding, Sep 12, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
    I couldn't help thinking of this. . .

    Rush | Red Barchetta lyrics

    I can't imagine gasoline becoming illegal. I can imagine it being rationed. We had gas rationing during WW2. (Grandma says it was something of a joke, as people with money could always get gas one way or another.)

    I can imagine a situation 10 or 15 years from now where gas costs $10/gallon if your local station has any, and if you have a ration card allowing you to buy some.

    I can also imagine a time even further in the future when most cars have gone to electricity, hydrogen, biofuels, compressed air, seawater, Mr. Fusion or whatever. . . when gasoline will become relatively cheap again because nobody will be using the stuff. Gasoline will be an unwanted by-product from the refining of plastics, paraffin, adhesives, paint, pesticides, solvents, etc., and will be sold to those eccentric collectors of antique cars just to get rid of the stuff.
  3. mt2

    mt2 Member

    Aug 29, 2007
    Chicago Area, North Burbs
    With oil hitting $80 a barrel and the refinery infrastructure showing it's age, somethings got to give. But I don't see gasoline becoming illegal. Rationed, yes. Too expensive for Sunday drives and out-of-town weddings and funerals, yes. But certainly not illegal - or virtually illegal as you suggested.

    The cracks started showing back in the '70s. Now days they're so visible even the Big Three can't ignore them. (Chrysler is in-sourcing battery development?) But the government, state and federal, address this as an environmental issue and get caught up in junk science debates about what might happen 20 or 50 years down the road. Even socio-economic issues languish in committees and die (can you say "health care reform"?) Nope. We need to go to war with Venezuela before gas usage gets regulated.

    In the meantime, the Martin Eberhards, X-Prizes, MIT physicists, and garage inventors are frantically developing fall back positions.

    I'll take my WhiteStar in Forest Green, thank you very much.
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Aug 20, 2006
    I though of "Red Barchetta" too when I read this post!
    (I just saw Rush in concert again recently)

    The other thing that came to mind was Mad-Max / Road-Warrior.
    The V8s were outlawed because they used too much of the last remaining precious fuel.

    ('Beyond thunderdome' is relevant too, but shouldn't be mentioned alongside the other two)
  5. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Aug 20, 2006
    We had gas rationing in California in the 1970s.

    You could only buy gas on even/odd days if the last digit in your license plate matched. Some people went to the trouble of obtaining two license plates for their vehicle.

    In Paris I ran into pollution alerts where the speed limits would go down for certain types of vehicles when pollution hits a certain level.
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    CA CA
    "You could only buy gas on even/odd days if the last digit in your license plate matched."

    At the time that seemed like it went on forever. My Fiat Spyder got something like 35 miles a gallon and it was a royal pain to have to pre-think running out of gas on the right day. What was it then 45 cents a gallon?

    Waitminute, an electric call will be a hundred time more schedual-centric. Good thing I'm much more mature now. (just don't ask my wife about that one)

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