Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Super Unleaded For All My Friends!

I don't know too much about cars. Oh sure I like to use the word viscosity as much as the next guy. I know there are rumors I spend all day coming up with new rhymes for the word. And while this may or may not be true, this sure seems like a good time to come clean and admit that I have no idea what viscosity actually means. Yet my auto-ignorance hasn't stopped me me from auto-experimentation.

There was a point in time when I tried putting super unleaded gasoline into my car. I will absolutely testify under oath, with the same viscosity (and trustworthiness) of a Vegas Fact, that my car positively went further with a tank full of super unleaded. I did get more miles per gallon. More miles per tank. This was back in the day when gas cost $1.20 a gallon. Yes super unleaded was more expensive. But it definitely did something super.

Back then if super unleaded cost $1.20, regular unleaded cost around $1 per gallon. So it was rather easy to compute that super unleaded cost 20% more per gallon. One could then run the numbers to see if using super unleaded actually delivered 20% more miles per tank. You know. Check the EV to see if this extra mileage was worth the extra cost.

Cut to yesterday: I'm standing at a gas pump coming back from a road trip. Staring up at the numbers I had a mild epiphany.

The difference between paying $4 or $4.20 per gallon is not nearly the same as the difference between paying $1 or $1.20 a gallon. On 4 bucks, paying an extra 20 cents per gallon is only a 5% increase. Not 20%. Thus at these prices, it's not that much more expensive to use super unleaded. Math isn't telling me to put regular unleaded into my car. Habit is.

It might be time to switch to super unleaded. Something inside my brain thinks gas prices should rise proportionally. If super cost 20% more back in the day, then it should cost 20% more now.

Shouldn't it?

This lack of proportional pricing makes me wonder what the true price of gas really is. It looks like they're raising the price too much at the bottom end. And not enough at the top end. This doesn't make any sense to me. Seems like you'd want to raise the percent just as much on the top end buyers.

And then I'm reminded that I live in a country where citizens were rewarded with a $25,000 tax break for buying a Hummer.

And no tax break for buying a Hybrid.


Well using this logic, maybe the whole thing does make perfect cents.


KajaPoker said...

first of all: shhhhhh.....

second: you just figured that out?

third: this actually shows you that while the poor in this country have just seen their gas prices raised 400% in the last few years, the rich proportionately saw their gas drop 15%. Inflation for the poor, deflation for the rich. Pretty awesome system, right?

Anyway, I'm joking, of course, about all that.

The real question is, Why is there only 1 Ethanol E85 station in the entire Atlanta Metro area? Every GMC and Chevy truck can run on E85 FlexFuel, but there's nowhere to get it. It costs 50 cents less than regular unleaded. It's a bargain. But the price still goes up when gas prices go up. Does corn cost more? No. Gas to transport the corn and the E85 to the station costs more. So E85 costs more. Why don't they run the delivery trunks and manufacturing facilities on E85 as well?

I'll leave you alone now. I've said enough. Go slay some donkeys at the WSOP cash tables. Have fun!

Check Raise Chin said...

Rob have you ever considered biking to the casinos?

Great post bro!

PokerNotes99 said...

I got a tax break for my Prius I bought last year. About $800 or so.