Loosing Grip

PARIS, Apr.24 (AFP) – From cars to planes, chemical plants to retail, every sector in the world economy is having to adapt to the prospect that high oil prices are going to last. Most oil firms are transferring the price hike to their clients, noting that high oil revenues stimulate research and development.

CARS: Although driving a car is getting ever more expensive, Europeans, who have long put up with higher prices than in the United States, have not given up the habit.

They are, however, more inclined to choose more economical diesel.

Around half of all new cars sold in Europe have diesel engines.

The rising price of fuel is even beginning to affect the market for four-wheel-drive vehicles in the United States.

Car manufacturers are beginning to treat the push for more efficient internal combustion engines and alternative fuels to drive them as a matter of extreme urgency.

Although cars are broadly less thirsty than they were before the oil crises of the 1970s, there is still a lot of progress to be made in reducing rates of consumption.

“Clean cars” that run on alternative fuels are more expensive and have yet to penetrate the mainstream, alt