When something becomes cheaper, we buy more of it. As energy becomes more efficient, we will be able to use more, since it also becomes cheaper. This means that by using more efficient energy, our total energy use doesn’t decrease, but stays at equal level. This is known as the rebound effect. The rebound effect has been studied in many different situation, fuel amongst other. As we all know, the energy-efficiency and thus the fuel use of cars and other motorized vehicles is an important study for vehicle manufacturers. They will attempt to decrease the fuel use of our vehicles, so it becomes cheaper to drive them, but according to a study this does not mean that we will use less fuel overall. Cheaper fuel means that we will drive more and eventually use more fuel. With the growing lack of oil reserves, this becomes an important topic for research.
I believe that the rebound effect can be very strong for car mileage, I notice it for myself already. When the fuel prices are high, I avoid using the car, but when the prices are low, a few extra miles doesn’t matter. Many people think alike and with growing fuel efficiency (and thus cheaper driving), I think that we will start using more fuel, thus depleting our oil reserves. The need for electric cars is becoming more and more apparent and we should focus our research on making better cars without oil consumption (hydrogen, electric, …).
With the depletion of oil reserves, how long will we still be able to drive our cars, especially if we look at the rebound effect? How much of an impact will the rebound effect have on the depletion of oil reserves and what can we do about it?