Here’s an interesting article on gas prices in Europe. Overall, it seems the Europeans got a good system going — except for the taxes. A few interesting tidbits:
- Europe has the highest gas prices in the world. In Amsterdam, it’s $7.13 a gallon.
- Europe’s cars get much better gas mileage. Average mpg is the US is 21.6 and in Paris it’s 32.1.
- 40% of cars sold in Europe are diesel. Only 4% of cars sold in the US are diesel.
- On average 60% of gas prices are due to taxes in Europe. In London, the government takes 75% in taxes.
I’m unphased by high gas prices, though I’ll admit paying $50 to fill up my Ranger is no fun. I don’t drive that much, so I fill up about once a month. My hope is that gas prices will push alternative fuels technology farther along, and hopefully loosen up our dependency on oil. For example, it’d be nice to see nuclear reactors and biodiesel take on a greater role in meeting our energy needs. The only thing that I’m afraid of that might happen is the feds might feel compelled to do something rather than rely on the market forces to sort this out.