• May 11th 2011 at 7:50PM
  • 33
The national average price of gasoline has hit exactly $4 a gallon, approximately a dime below its all-time high. According to a Lundberg Survey of fueling stations released on Sunday, pump prices rose 12 cents over the past two weeks. On July 7, 2008, the national average price of gas soared to $4.114 a gallon, a record-setting high, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy.

If you're hunting for bargain gas, and willing to drive to get it, then Tucson, AZ offers you the lowest average price among cities surveyed, just $3.62 a gallon. Meanwhile, drivers in Chicago suffered the most, having to dish out an average of $4.50 for a single gallon of the go-juice.

The U.S. Department of Energy will release its weekly survey of diesel and gasoline prices on Monday afternoon. Who's willing to bet that prices will have come down by then?

[Source: Hybrid Cars]


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  • 33 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Pinching figures from Renault's battery lease charges in Europe, for 10,000 miles/year battery depreciation is going to cost around $100/month. At 3 miles/kwh to allow for heating, cooling, losses from the plug etc you might use around 3,333kwh for this. Using 10 cents/kwh for the cost of the electricity, that is around $1,550 dollars/year for battery depreciation and electricity. At the US national fleet average of 25mpg and using $4/gallon that buys you about 10,000 miles on petrol. for 387 gallons/year. At $4.60 you would get 336 gallons for the same money, so you would be breaking even against a car getting 30mpg in the urban runs that the electric car is suitable for. This does not take account of the savings from reduced maintenance on the electric vehicle, with some of the Renault's for instance not having their first service until they have hit 50,000 miles and then only to check the brakes. It also does not take account of the security provided from being immune to petrol prices and knowing that you will always be able to get to work and do your essential running around. So the answer on a personal basis to whether electric cars are viable is that yes, they are competitive at something like current prices, and even against a very economic car would be so at around $4.60. They should be a good buy then, unless of course you think that petrol prices are going to sink back to $2/gallon.
      Ben Crockett
      • 4 Years Ago
      "If you're hunting for bargain gas, and willing to drive to get it". No so great an idea to use more gas to not only waste fuel but to only likely save a few cents.
        Naturenut99
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Ben Crockett
        Actually, it rarely is cheaper to drive to another station thats cheaper, unless its only a mile or less away. It just as easily could end up costing more unless its already on your way. Its usually best to use "gas buddy" to determine whats the best price along your driving pattern.
      Noz
      • 4 Years Ago
      The oil companies just LOVE you suckers....keep those wars a comin!
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 4 Years Ago
      oil dropped some after osama's death so gas will probably drop a bit soon and then it will get back up.and up. and then it will turn really bad : ) because you wouldn't listen
        harlanx6
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        In answering your last reply, I can see it possibly unfolding as you see it. Your logic is sound. These predictions are risky. Mine are just a feeling for what I have seen happening over a lifetime, but my perception has been pretty good up to now. I have a lot of confidence in the oil companies developing more supplies. As you know I don't have much faith in the peak oil scenario, in fact I think it is political posturing. What the Chinese do is critical. If they push hard for alternate energy sources it could make a huge difference, and I think it is in their best interest to do so. The higher fuel prices get, the more elastic the demand will become. It is likely the developing world would be hurt more than the US, Europe, and Asia by a real shortage in supplies. Fuel price having risen 25% or so, it is obvious here that people are driving less, and that's the way the market works. Apparently North America has huge undeveloped reserves, which places Canada and the US in a pretty good strategic position. It's time for us to develop and use our own energy resources and for the time being it looks like it will be "drill baby drill". I expect battery technology to go the way electronics have gone, ever better, ever cheaper, which will assure the success of EVs and within an unknown period of time render carbon burners obsolete. Any of my assumptions or predictions could be dead wrong. To what extent we move to nat gas as a substitute is dependent on the future cost of oil production. Biofuels will never be more than marginal here, although it's big in Brazil. Europe is trying hard to control CO2 emissions, but the new big 4 countries couldn't care less as they attempt to bring prosperity to their people who have been so poor for so long. China fascinates me. It is the wild card. We need to have this conversation again in a decade. By then maybe the future will be clearer. We have a lot of sunshine here and it is free and it is clean. We need to develop it.
          Marcopolo
          • 4 Years Ago
          @harlanx6
          You are correct, the world has adequate reserves of oil for several decades, regardless of PRC and Indian consumption. This is not to say that oil is not a finite resource. The world probably reached 'Peak Oil' 4 years ago. What the doomsayers and extremists gloatingly dreaming of an apocalyptic future catastrophe failed to consider factor is the rapid development of extraction technologies, and the slowing of demand. The PRC is not particularly oil rich but it has huge reserves of coal. India also has large reserves of coal, although of poorer quality. There will be no apocalyptic doomsday! (Certainly not due to not listening to DF egocentric rants!). The main issue to be addressed as the age of oil comes to an end, is how to replace such a highly profitable commodity, to fund all the things oil revenue fund today. .
          • 4 Years Ago
          @harlanx6
          I prefer to base my outlook on the figures, oil depletion rates, new supplies coming on line, the studies which have been done by umpteen organisations etc. I am at a loss how anyone can possibly imagine that with the massive new demand coming on line from the likes of China, not to mention rapidly growing demand internally in the few remaining oil exporters, over the next few years oil can be other than scarce and prices barring massive depression other than high. You do realise that China alone is putting 13 million new cars, ie not simply to replace existing ones, but entirely new demand, on the road this year?
          Marcopolo
          • 4 Years Ago
          @harlanx6
          @David. But that's why all those earnest studies and prediction fail. Such modelling, invariably fails because the rate of expansion of technology doesn't stand still. Simply calculating a mathematical formulae of known facts and extrapolating those into the future is at best, pointless, at worst disingenuously manipulative. China may be adding vast numbers of new cars. But those cars are (in general), much smaller, travel slower, and only 10% of the distance, in any given year. . At the same time the first world oil efficiency technology is rapidly increasing. These are the sort of factors that must be considered No question, oil depletion is a concern, but John is correct, it will be decades before oil depletion becomes severe.
        harlanx6
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        I don't think so, Dan. Time will tell. I kind of think after a correction here probably through the Summer, the price of oil will pretty much follow the inflation in the US dollar. We are in a recreational area of Northern California and there is dramatically less vehicle traffic this year. There are a lot of factors working right now to stabilize the oil market. It isn't a supply issue yet, it's a demand issue. World events and speculation can change that temporarily, but the main trend follows the real value of world currencies, particularly the US dollar. I see no real oil shortage through the next decade. Remember I was the only one predicting the correction we are having now. There are huge reserves just starting to be developed here in North America and the environmentalist obstructionists have been slapped down because even they can see the strategic and economic importance of securing future supplies.
          • 4 Years Ago
          @harlanx6
          If by environmentalist obstructionists you mean those who are lobbying against hydraulic fracturing, you should be using a different term. Something like "those with common sense" or "the non altruistically-impaired." http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fracking-for-natural-gas-pollutes-water-wells http://www.truth-out.org/fracking-blowout-causes-massive-spill-pennsylvania/1303282800 Just a couple examples. It has been and will continue to be terrible. Proponents of "fracking" either have the wool pulled over their eyes or just DO NOT CARE in the slightest what consequences there are aside from the big one: money.
          David
          • 4 Years Ago
          @harlanx6
          " 'It isn't a supply issue yet, it's a demand issue'. those two sort of go together you know" Dan, that is great. Someone didn't take any economics classes. The two are inversely related. There wouldn't be a supply issue without a demand issue just as there wouldn't be a demand issue without a supply issue. For example, if harlanx thinks that there is only a problem with excess demand, then how is there not an issue with under supply? Right, thats not possible
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 4 Years Ago
          @harlanx6
          I didn't see your alleged prediction. I like this prediction of yours though " I see no real oil shortage through the next decade" : ) I think things will be different than that : ) there might be just a hint of a shortage in this decade. you may also want to rethink the "It isn't a supply issue yet, it's a demand issue". those two sort of go together you know :) china and india are growing at 10% per year. that's monstrous, they are 2.5bn people. 3 times USA and Europe combined. and oil production is seemingly desperately trying to hold on to current production levels and it will inevitably start to drop and it's not even adequate now. so we have rapidly growing demand and soon to drop supply. that's a mathematical certainty basically. only something dramatic can change that. like another massive collapse of the economy which would only temporarily postpone the shortage like it did in 2008. or some kind of massive cataclysmic event that otherwise destroys demand. the only semi reasonable unknown here is if enough alternatives can be introduced fast enough combined with less idiotic vehicles can avert disaster. I think it wont be total disaster but I'm guessing it will be semi rough and possibly rougher than the 2008 crash. and there is a small chance it could be really really brutal. great depression level bad. that would require some domino effects in the world economy and I don't have total insight to say if such exists. but I do think it is a real risk because oil is so fundamental to our society and we are so spectacularly ill prepared. the stupid stupid automakers still believe the combustion engine will run on gasoline forever. the media doesn't even dare to utter peak oil and politicians are similarly clueless. they aren't taking it seriously at all. Carlos Ghosn seems to understand the conclusion that oil is running out but it's still very laid back. he's not outthere raising awareness. I sort of hope it will happen soon because it's fairly clear that noone is doing anything that really matters. it's all very reluctantly token and I'm sick of their stupidity. at this pace nothing will ever happen. so only a massive oil shortage threatening all the world will give rise to real change. so bring it on. and it will happen. it's a given. just a question of how bad it will be at this point. look around on the street. all the stupid SUVs and Ferd F-Teenthousand will be gone. just like the Hummer. they will either be illegal or too unpopular to be viable models. I estimate they will become really unpopular in about 4 years and in 10 years they will be a thing of the past. stupidity wont die of completely of course (until such time God puts it down for good) so there will likely still be CUVs and similar foolishness, likely plugins. but the stupidly oversized americana vehicles will go.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No news here in the Bay Area. Been taking public transit to ease the impact. And today is Bike to Work Day, which I did.
      Ben Crockett
      • 4 Years Ago
      I agree with David. You need to factor in China & India's rising demand as it will play a major part. While other countries may reduce their demand, it will be well and truly be offset by China & India's increase in demand over time. China & India's increasing demand for oil, will likely increase prices of oil in the long-term given the same supply, for as their economies grow and more middle-class citizens will desire to live and consume like Westerners (Demand-Pull inflation). Also we will have an increase in the price of oil, due to increasing costs of production over time as oil becomes more costly to find, extract and refine (Cost-Push Inflation). It is clear then that there is only one way for the price of oil in the medium to long-term and that is up.
        Marcopolo
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Ben Crockett
        Ben, although the PRC and India and developing countries in general, will increase the demand for energy, it's will not necessarily be the same as the US or other western nations that built societies around the personal transport mobility of the car, and cheap gasoline. Already crowded cities and even more crowded highways, coupled with population density, make travel by private car a different experience. The west, especially the US, Canada and Australia grew with the automobile as a social necessity. (A surprisingly large number of Australians were conceived on the backseat !) But these cultural icon do not exist in PRC or India. As I say, taking one set of figures from one set of circumstances, and extrapolating to a very different set, will produce distortions. Given time, any finite resource will inevitably become uneconomic, however long before that occurs with oil, technologies will have transformed energy supply. In Australia, the infrastructure already exists to economically replace petrol (Gasoline) with LPG. Australia's proven reserves would last Australia 600 hundred years, even after exporting over 60% of production. As the era of cheap and plentiful oil draws to a close, other technologies will become viable, reducing the demand for oil, especially in newly developing economies. Most of the emerging economies possess cultures and infrastructure more suited to mass transit transport. Newly emergent middle class citizens of the PRC or India will desire some, but not all aspects of western life. Simplistic attempts to predict complex human economic behaviour with simple mathematical calculations, will never prove successful. David cites France, and Renault in particular, as the path to the future. Many contributors predict that the demand for small, underpowered, short range vehicles, will rise dramatically. But if this were true, the entire world would have embraced the brilliant 1959 Mini, and the SUV would never have existed. I've got my doubts about the viability of Renaults battery leasing deal. I don't understand how a battery pack that costs Renault, say $10,000, can be leased for $1200 pa. Batteries are not appreciating assets, and even with government subsidies, this model remains uneconomic.
          Ben Crockett
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          @Marcopolo My comments were more in relation to price pressure on supply rather than the supply itself In other words I assumed supply was fixed - which is needed when taking about inflation as you need a fixed factor - ie. demand-inflation is caused by more money (demand) chasing the same amount of goods/services (fixed factor). Nonetheless, I agree, that on a per person basis the direct or indirect, oil consumption of an Chinese or Indian will likely be less than that of most Americans or Australians - but its the shear numbers that I believe will create the problem and pressure on price. While a middle-class Chinese may not drive an SUV, they are becoming more like the West by demanding more consumable & foreign food items, all which have oil either directly used it their manufacturer or indirectly in transport. In a documentary on oil, I have seen (can't recall name) they quoted that if the average Chinese consumed like an American then we would need 8 earths to supply just the Chinese based on their large population - off course they will likely not consume the same but the it does give an indicator as to the potential problem. Price is the most important factor for most lower to middle income class people, and people will look for alternatives as the price of oil raises - people are more than likely willing to change their habits (eg. from driving a heavy gas-gulzing SUV a convert to a smaller vehicle/EV/hybrid) rather than take a reduction in their standard of living (eg. be willing to drive less or not at all). With the Mini/SUV example I think it was/is just mainly a factor of price - both SUVs and gas have been cheap in America in the past.
      HVH20
      • 4 Years Ago
      $95 to fill up my truck at costco last night. -FML
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 4 Years Ago
        @HVH20
        do you actually need that truck (no you don't) or could you drive something more intelligent..
      Randy C
      • 4 Years Ago
      And I wonder How GM and the other automakers were helping this situation in 2003? By destroying all existing electric vehicles and abandoning all further research into EV's made this event happen even faster. It's not as if this event was unforeseen. Anybody who has taken economics 101 knew this event was coming and this is only the beginning.
        Noz
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Randy C
        Because it was intentional....end of story.
      Dave
      • 4 Years Ago
      Gas is still cheaper than batteries.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Dave
        Batteries are a way to store energy, not a source of energy.. Unless you're running your car on duracells.
        paulwesterberg
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Dave
        But you only buy batteries once.
        Nick
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Dave
        Dave Sure, eat a can of beans and you'll have plenty of free gas for a day or two.
        EJ
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Dave
        My batteries will be charged from my solar array on my roof, then I'm driving for free. How 'bout you?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Dave
        But can you reuse gas?
      budfox
      • 4 Years Ago
      ...so it begins.
      switzarch
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wonder why 93 octane is below $4 on the eastern shore of Maryland.
      sjpxmas
      • 4 Years Ago
      THE OIL COMPANIES AND THE GOVERNMENT ALWAYS DID AS THEY WANTED TO,,,, SO WHY EVEN TALK ABOUT, JUST BEND OVER....
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