Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 12:30 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 12:30 | SYDNEY

Oil and suburbia


Sam Roggeveen


30 June 2008 17:03

Alex Evans at Global Dashboard asks whether sustained high oil prices will make it unaffordable to live in suburbia. While it is certainly becoming very expensive for suburbanites in America, Australia, Canada and elsewhere to drive between where they live to where they work, won't this just change how and what suburbanites drive? Buying a smaller, more efficient car is surely cheaper than moving house. And the statistics indicate that people do respond to higher prices by driving less. Despite what some politicians would tell you, petrol demand is elastic, suggesting a lot of the driving we currently do is discretionary.

Market demand works for car manufacturers too: Mercedes plans to remove petrol-powered cars from its product range by 2015.