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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Dog Parks and the Global Transportation Market

  John Eichberger |  August 1, 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 20, 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 |  July 6, 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 15, 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 1, 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.

Teetering or Tottering - Part 1 - Who likes low gas prices?

  John Eichberger |  May 1, 2017

Have you ever watched kids playing on a teeter-totter? Who is having more fun - the kid going up or the one going down? Or perhaps more importantly, which kid has greater influence over up vs down?

Superman Has It So Easy!

  John Eichberger |  April 1, 2017

New York City is known by so many different names – the City that Never Sleeps, the Big Apple, the Capital of the World, Gotham City and even Metropolis. Spend a little time there, and I guarantee you will come up with nicknames of your own, some flattering and others not so much.

Bring Out Your Dead

  John Eichberger |  March 1, 2017

Earlier this year I attended the National Ethanol Conference and was asked what I thought about the future of the alternative fuel E85.

Global Regulations Run the Gamut

  John Eichberger |  February 1, 2017

“All politics is local.” Tip O’Neil’s most famous quote may not seem appropriate for a discussion about emissions regulations, but when one peals back the onion on global initiatives it seems consistent with reality. While the effect of emissions is not restricted by political boundaries, the regulations that affect them clearly are and deserve attention to better understand the direction in which they may affect the future of the transportation energy market.

The More Things Change...

  John Eichberger |  January 1, 2017

What does the U.S. auto industry have in common with Bon Jovi, Machine Head, Cinderella, Rush and Ludacris? Each of these musical acts recorded songs containing the lyrics, "the more things change the more they stay the same." This is very much what has been witnessed in the auto industry over the past several years with regards to powertrains purchased by consumers - nothing significant has changed.