‘Green’ Millennials grab the wheel and step on the gas 

Posted: February 27, 2019 by oldbrew in Energy, predictions, Travel


H/T The GWPF
Fuel-burning car usage in the USA shows no signs of going out of fashion.

Remember how oil demand was going to fall because green millennials are different and don’t want to kill the planet? Well, think again says the Energy Institute at HAAS.

Starting around 2012 there was a lot of discussion about millennials being different.  “Why Don’t Young Americans Buy Cars?” asked Jordan Weissman in the Atlantic. “Why Aren’t Younger Americans Driving Anymore?” wrote Brad Plumer in the Washington Post.

At the time, it made sense to ask these questions.

Back in 2012, U.S. gasoline sales had declined for five years in a row and were at their lowest level in more than a decade. New vehicles sales had still not recovered from a sharp decline in 2009, and automakers were anxious.

Analysts were looking around for an explanation for what appeared to be a “generational” shift in gasoline consumption and car buying, and the millennial story seemed like a good match.

The story also felt entirely plausible. Born in the 1980s and 1990s, millennials have grown up in the digital age, so it makes sense that they could have unique tastes and preferences.

For many of us, the stereotypical millennial lives in an urban area, likes to bike, and uses public transit. Could it be that this generation has a fundamentally different relationship with driving? And, if so, might a generational shift go a long way toward reducing the harms caused by driving, like pollution and traffic congestion?

The Present Looks a lot Like the Past

Could be, but probably isn’t. Fast forward to 2019. U.S. gasoline consumption has increased steadily now for seven years in a row. What looked in 2012 like a generational shift now looks more like a temporary blip.

Continued here.

Comments
  1. Jim says:

    The analysis was wrong. But the conclusions were iffy. In other words, right and wrong. Perspective would show, an initial investment in infrastructure. More bus route, more personal investment in cleaner vehicles, more ability to move in and about. So what changed. The conservative trend. Fewer taxes to cover the necessary improvements and their infrastructure. Fewer industries to help cover the structure, and people still needed to get to work. And the people did not get a supposed raise to cover inflation, or the cost of another new vehicle. Now you add in a family, less for a vehicle improvement, and a larger vehicle was needed. Larger vehicle, is less effecient. But better infrastructure should have added the effects. But the roads were left to degrade. Bus routes and people routes were cut back, throwing more people to the varagities of dependable transportation. A self fulfilling circle, again.

  2. thegoosefish says:

    Buses seem to be just as plentiful as ever where I live. Just a little emptier. I live on a bus stop so I see them every day. Which gets us back to the carrot and stick. The carrot is not working unless it is punitive. Only higher excise taxes, penalties, hitting people in their pockets works. But watch out for those yellow vests. They can only take so much while the warming scientists jet around the world, clinking their champagne glasses, collecting their honoraria.

  3. Gamecock says:

    ‘Back in 2012, U.S. gasoline sales had declined for five years in a row and were at their lowest level in more than a decade. New vehicles sales had still not recovered from a sharp decline in 2009, and automakers were anxious.

    Analysts were looking around for an explanation for what appeared to be a “generational” shift in gasoline consumption and car buying, and the millennial story seemed like a good match.’

    It’s the Oconomy, stupid.

    Journalists/researchers dare not say the truth.

  4. stpaulchuck says:

    a perfect (economic) storm caused it IMAO.

    Cash for clunkers in 2009 took thousands of used cars permanently off the market reducing available, affordable vehicles for the up and coming Millennials. That was preceded by the mortgage crash taking the economy down with it reducing available money (and a job) to buy a car and afford gas for it. The moribund economy through 2015 kept young people from getting jobs and/or getting rising paychecks as they climbed the ladder.

    With the current skyrocketing economy jobs are available all over the place and wages are rising along with promotions to higher jobs so many people are moving up in the car world and driving more as well. We’ve also reached a hiatus in improvement in miles per gallon so consumption is rising as population rises.

    As an aside, my son (late 30’s) has leased a Mercedes for years, even during the downturn. His peers have similar vehicles with a few Toyota Pious’s thrown in for good form. So, not all Millennials were on the bus.

  5. oldbrew says:

    New York billboard…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s