July 2023 Gasoline Phaseout NewsJuly 28, 2023
September 2023 Gasoline Phaseout NewsSeptember 29, 2023
No Time for Victory Lap: Gasoline Consumption Increases Despite EV Sales Growth
EV sales climbed 48% in the second quarter of 2023 relative to 2022, but it is far too early to take a victory lap. Gasoline consumption was 2.7% higher from April to June 2023 as compared to the same period in 2022.
While the EV sales trend is encouraging, what matters from a climate perspective is the extent to which gasoline use is going down. There are three main reasons why gasoline use is not on the downward trajectory required at the pace needed to fight the climate crisis:
- Roughly twelve times as many new gasoline-powered cars as EVs came on to U.S. roads in the past quarter, and 99% of the vehicles on U.S. roads are still gasoline-powered.
- Vehicle miles traveled continue to increase.
- Most of the EVs being sold are going to drivers who use relatively little gasoline, and not to those drivers in the top 10% for gasoline use (“Superusers”) who are consuming 39% of U.S. gasoline.
Because of these trends, in California, Energy Commission staff predict only a 10% decrease in gasoline consumption by 2030, despite California being the state with the strongest EV sales. This is far short of the 50% cut California is targeting.
Across the U.S., gasoline use is only forecast to drop 3.3% to 5.3% by 2030, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
Cutting gasoline use at the speed and scale required by the climate crisis and by U.S. commitments (at least 50% by 2030) will require more focused and aggressive policy interventions. For starters, we need to maintain laser focus on getting the biggest users of gasoline into EVs as fast as possible. We also need to follow the example of the EU and other countries by setting a national gas car phaseout date for 2035 or sooner. And we need to set clear local, state, and national goals for reducing gasoline consumption each year, along with detailed plans, policies and investments to measure progress toward those goals and meet them.