Gas

Surprise!!! Here’s something that hasn’t been talked about lately. This week’s posts will cover current events.

People think they have it bad in the US. Gas here reached the $1.08 per liter mark ($3.40 US per gallon). CNN has been reporting that the national US average is $2.40, so it is about 40% more up here. At first I thought it was because the US subsidised their gas, but now I think it is also because there is more tax on gas here.

It has an interesting effect. People seem to be more conscious about the gas mileage of their cars. Walking down the street this morning, I noticed that probably 80%-90% of the cars were one of the two smallest cars of any car manufacturer (Echo, Civic, Mazda 3, Focus, Jetta, etc.) There are many economy cars on the road and not many SUV’s even though SUV’s would be better at tackling the winters. Though the larger cars in the US may be due to the fascination with bigger and wider. It has also been suggested to me that Quebecers are very conservative spenders. I guess the US would be also if they were taxed close to 50%. The smaller cars may also be some of that European influence again.

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~ by Frank on August 22, 2005.

One Response to “Gas”

  1. I live in Montreal and drive a Pontiac Pursuit; American car, but definitely on the smallish side. My theories(having just returned from a 3 month road trip)
    1. It seems like highway life is much more prevalent in the American commute. Big trucks are guzzlers, but highways are gas-savers (relatively speaking, I think) Highways also dont involve too many sporty handling opportunities, such as in the N.American city or all of Europe, so smaller ‘zippers’ are perhaps less appreciated.

    2. Frugality. You’re probably right that we spend less on cars, not to mention alot of car owners in or around Montreal will also reccur to public transport regularly.

    3. Parking (+frugality) As you probably know, the Montreal parking situation is ok. However, I noticed in the U.S. that spots with meters are less common and less expensive, while parking garages are more readily available and popular, thus relatively more affordable. Parking in MTL in other words, is less predictable and we’re less likely to part with our coin for a spot. Perhaps the smaller car means better chances of finding a free spot (usually those 3/4 sized mini-spots)

    4. Kids. We have less. In fact I think we rarely have more than 2. And we all avoid minivans as long as possible so I’m assuming an SUV or TRUCK offers an alternative to buying a Van (which are also much more common in the U.S.) for bigger American families.

    5. The Road-Rage thing. I’m assuming If a Hummer cut me off I’d be less pissed than, say, a Hummer-driver who’s just been cut-off by a Pontiac pursuit. This may not be true. But I’m definitely more intimidate by a machetti than by a butter-knife. If you consider your car a 2nd degree weapon, then get a machetti/Toyota Tundra.

    6. Weather challenges. Yeah, we have some bad ones in Montreal, but more of the crippling variety; black ice is a universal killer, but trucks swerve more than cars if driven imprudently. Most importantly though, when bad weather strikes in Montreal(usually winter) it seems there is no sane alternative to driving like a senior. The U.S sees a variety of wild weather, but I noticed in the southern states trucks were most common, then I went to florida in august and had to plow through gallons of storm rain on a highway (as 6-wheeled silverados whizzed by me)

    7.(longshot theory): it’s easier to take the snow of the roof of a car,especially when you’re an inch shorter than the average American!

    7a. It’s easier to feel comfortable in a bigger car, when you’re a bigger person. Americans are a bit bigger than Quebecois (dare I say significantly bigger in the gut-region)

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