A blog reader has kindly pointed out the potential impact of GM's new Volt car on the chemical industry. The Volt will have an operating range of 40 miles (64km), when it becomes available in 2010. According to GM, it will enable 75% of America's daily commuter journeys to take place without using gasoline. And US drivers currently use over 9mb of gasoline every day.
So if Volt sales take off, chemical companies should benefit. Refiners would be encouraged to make more naphtha instead of gasoline, and this increased supply could also lead to relatively lower prices for the industry's largest feedstock.