The Commute


Observations on the current happenings in the world of vehicles and the fuels that power them from Fuels Institute Executive Director, John Eichberger.

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ICE, ICE Baby

  John Eichberger |  February 2018

Like Vanilla Ice came under pressure from David Bowie and Freddie Mercury for "sampling" their technology, today's ICE vehicles are likewise under pressure from fuel economy standards and the unrelenting drum beat of electrification which threatens to steal their market. But don't count ICE out of the equation - there is a resurgence under way that should prove more fruitful than Vanilla's effort to shift from rap to hard core rock, then ultimately to high-end house flipping.

Consumers Hold the Keys, Even Before Buying the Car

  John Eichberger |  January 2018

So much is written about the future of transportation and the shift to electric vehicles, but not enough focus is being given to the whims of the consumer. This fickle beast will determine whether alternatives, like EVs, will take over the world - but how do we know what consumers actually think and what they will actually do?

A Tango and a More Worldly View

  By John Eichberger |  November 2017

My entire career has been focused in the United States and it is so easy to adopt a U.S.-centric philosophy, but once you begin to engage with others around the world, your perspective begins to change you realize how small the world is and how interconnected we all are.

It's All About the Denominator

  John Eichberger |  October 2017

How often have you read a headline that makes you think the days of liquid fuels are over? But news of the demise of the internal combustion engine has been greatly exaggerated. And it's because we seem to have forgotten grammar school math and the rule of fractions.

Let's Leave Our Baggage At Home

  John Eichberger |  September 2017

Despite the politically divisive world in which we live, it is still possible for people to step out of their boxes and open themselves to collaboration and an honest exchange of information and perspectives, and the Fuels Institute has established the forum for that to thrive.

Dog Parks and the Global Transportation Market

  John Eichberger |  August 2017

We live in a global market. Regulations are increasingly being developed in a cross-border, collaborative fashion. And governments are always looking at each other to coopt ideas about how to guide their economies. The independent actions of individual government entities (sometimes nations, sometimes cities) can disrupt the flow of the market, just like a skirmish among terriers can rattle the dog park; but, these types of governmental actions often serve as distractions from what is really driving the market.

Sowing the Seeds for Future Change

  John Eichberger |  July 2017

Our latest series of reports, "Tomorrow's Vehicles," show the vehicle market will not change overnight, but the seeds for more rapid evolution in terms of the number of electric vehicles being sold and on the road have been sown.

How Soon for EV? Let's Have Another Cocktail and Do More Math

  John Eichberger |  June 2017

In the last blog entry, we introduced the concept of using simple, cocktail napkin math to evaluate how long it takes to turn over the vehicle fleet. In Part 2 of this series, we will apply this simple logic to evaluate potential penetration of electric powertrains. As our results will show, I think we have time for another cocktail or two before the market changes so much it becomes unrecognizable.

Are We There Yet? 10 More Years

  John Eichberger |  June 2017

We are a very impatient species. We started as kids - "Are we there yet?" "How much longer?" To shut us up for a while, our parents responded "Ten more minutes." Then we responded, "That's what you said 30 minutes ago!" And it is only getting worse.

Teetering or Tottering - Part 2 - Balancing oil markets with U.S. policy?

  John Eichberger |  June 2017

The last time we took a stroll through the park to see what was happening on the playground of fuel prices. This time, let's climb higher and look around - what is truly influencing the up and down of the teeter-totter that consumers are riding.