As near back as two years ago, consumers had very limited options when it came to combatting high fuel prices. But, thanks to the EV charge led by the Chevy Volt, those options are no longer relegated to bike riding, car pooling, and staying at home.
And, for Californians suffering from the highest spike in gas prices in state history, this new option couldn’t come too soon. Over the past few weeks, a supply crisis has disrupted fuels shipped to California and resulted in gasoline prices averaging over $4.60 a gallon statewide and over $5.50 a gallon in some locations.
“I haven’t seen a series of incidents like this, and it has led to the worst panic-driven rise in gasoline prices that I have seen in 35 years,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles Times continued to note that the high prices were likely caused by too few people controlling consumer access to gasoline:
“When you’ve got such a small handful of owners controlling 14 refineries, it is inevitable that prices will go through the roof where there is friction in the delivery system,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog.
“There are too few oil companies controlling too few refineries and they want too much in profits.”
But a recent surge in electric vehicle sales, over 5600 sold last month, is providing fed-up California drivers with options they never enjoyed before. Of the 5600 electric vehicles sold, a high proportion were purchases by California motorists. State support for EVs is through the roof and eccentric inventor Elon Musk keeps pounding the electric vehicle drum-beat.
Musk, just today, heightened investor interest in electric vehicles by purchasing 35,000 shares of his California-based EV manufacturer Tesla Motors. This was, perhaps, a consolidation ahead of a potential buyout of the niche electrics manufacturer.
Meanwhile, prices keep falling for the Chevy Volt which is now offering leases for as low as $249 per month — a very attractive offer when fuel prices are above $5 per gallon. A Volt could save a driver as much as $2000 dollars per year in fuel costs at California gas prices, so it may be no wonder that the Volt has hit record high sales for two months in a row.