Sunday, May 07, 2023

Gasoline consumption, California and USA




I think the moderate drop after 2020, which appears to be continuing when comparing 2022 (so far) to 2021, masks a much larger and continuing drop in the SF Bay Area, a possibly slightly increased drop in the LA area, and significant increases in gas consumption in Central Valley. About 19% of new California vehicles in 2022 were zero emission, almost all of them BEVs. People owning multiple vehicles will preferentially drive BEVs over ICE vehicles because operational costs are lower. The overall vehicle fleet is nowhere near 19% BEV, but in terms of Vehicle Miles Traveled, BEVs will be over-represented.

More gist for my speculation that gas stations will become increasingly hard to find and make ICE vehicles increasingly inconvenient, something that would create a virtuous cycle. We'll see if this dynamic comes into play faster than the effect of California's banning new ICE vehicles in 2035 - I hope so, and in the US it's most likely to occur in the SF Bay Area. 




Not much of a recent trend, yet, although the slow rise up until 2005 has clearly stopped. Zero emission vehicles were 6% of all sales in 2022 and rising rapidly. I expect we'll see a decrease in a year or two, although that will mas bigger decreases in California and a few other state markets combined with some increases elsewhere. More than a few years out and there should be some big changes.

In a decade (sooner in some places), the effect of gas price shocks on the rest of the economy will be smaller than at any time since the 1950s. It can't come soon enough.