Fuel shortages, range anxiety, should we get used to it? Is electric the answer?

With fuel holding steadfast demand, talk of the army getting involved, and your local pump no doubt in short supply, is this a glimpse into the future?

petrol station fuel refill fuel crisis

First, it was the loo roll, now it’s a fuel crisis - panic buyers have been fuelled by big media to surge out in numbers and buy all the fuel they can, resulting in the same ‘buy now or miss out’ panic buying that plagued supermarket shelves last year. 

Well, it seems those same people have stopped wiping their behinds for a minute to realise they need as much fuel as possible, how else will they get to the shop and buy the essentials? Or is it just all a media exaggeration? It’s not like that’s ever happened before…

Now, with queues stretching around cities and towns with those both in need of getting about, and those who are aghast at the feeling they could possibly miss their weekly skinny latte with Karen down at Costa on Thursday afternoon, there’s talk of the army getting involved.

But hang on, where did this all come about? The Boris-led gov insists that there are no fuel shortages, rather that it’s simple supply chain issues leading to apocalyptic-esque ‘no fuel’ notices being scrawled on the back of paper and stuck to factory issue cones.

I’m at risk of getting far too political on this article, but a supposed shortage of HGV drivers to deliver that precious liquid around has been exacerbated by Brexit, and the driver shortage isn’t exclusive to the UK - it’s the same story in many EU countries, apparently. You can’t help but think ‘what next?’

Is the answer electric? Should we all consider a jump to a renewable means of transport sooner than anticipated? Or do we await fuel to appear back in the pumps, just as the toilet paper re-appeared?

For electric to be the answer, a sufficient infrastructure will need to be built to support 33 million cars and 1.1 million bikes being charged up nightly. Places like Gridserve (from the Energica review) will need to continue popping up for longer journeys. We’ve all heard of the old adage of the energy grid preparing for a nightly surge of electricity when thousands of kettles get popped on pre & post-Eastenders episodes.

Plus, range and recharge times will need to be further improved before many riders consider plugging in. After all, a recent survey showed that many will turn their back on two wheels if the electric revolution comes as planned…

Is there really a fuel crisis?

It’s obviously an ongoing situation - and acknowledging a bit of confirmation bias - in my local area petrol is returning to its normal accessible limit - which may signal media hype as the source of the issue (considering I’m in the arse end of nowhere). So, no, in my humble opinion I don't think this is a sign of the times, and we shouldn't get used to fuel shortages. I didn’t even have to queue for my last fill up!

Though, diesel seems impossible to get a hold of - gutted. 

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