It should be a time of celebrations, party hats, and road trips: Gas prices are expected to be their lowest for the Fourth of July weekend in more than a decade. With the promise of a full tank and wallet, many Americans, enticed by the low prices, are racing to trade their hybrids and electric vehicles in for gas-only vehicles. According to The New York Times, 75 percent of hybrid and electric vehicle owners who replaced their car this year chose an all-gas vehicle.
But before you throw parties celebrating low gas prices and race off to the dealer for an all-gas vehicle, let’s refresh our memories for a second, take our party hats off, and remind ourselves which commodity we’re dealing with. It’s gasoline, one of the most unpredictable and quickly fluctuating commodities around.
Just two years ago, the nationwide average was remarkably higher, at $3.70 a gallon. It’s only a matter of time before gas prices continue to do what they do best: Take us on an unpredictable roller-coaster ride. So why are people jumping to switch out their cars now, despite the evidence that history will repeat itself and lead to the return of high gas prices? Dr. Michael Sivak of the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute sums it up best:
“People have very short memories about the price of gasoline.”
This Dory-esque memory loss could lead to regret down the road. According to CNBC, Americans are keeping their cars a lot longer then they used to, with the average car age at an all-time high of 11.5 years. That means many Americans are making long-term decisions on the basis of a short-term and elusive phenomenon: low gas prices.
So what’s the long-term solution? With many electric vehicles still requiring an expensive charging infrastructure (especially for people who can’t charge at home), and with the price of gas a roller-coaster ride that leaves Americans at the mercy of the pump, is there any way out? The answer is yes: By making alternative fuels like E85 more widely available at the pump, we can bring competition to the market, ensuring that when gas prices inevitably spike, there is a viable and cost-effective alternative.
So for now, enjoy those low gas prices, and know that when they spike again, there is a solution: fuel choice.
Visit our website to learn how to make fuel choice a reality.
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