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Contacts:

media@coltura.org,

Janelle@coltura.org

Matthew@coltura.org

NEW REPORT: Data reveals why gasoline consumption not declining fast enough, need to target “Gasoline Superusers”

SEATTLE — Jan. 17, 2024 — Today, Coltura, a national nonprofit organization committed to reducing gasoline use faster, more efficiently and more equitably, released a report with groundbreaking consumer-level data on gasoline consumption in the United States. The analysis reveals alarming trends that are causing gasoline consumption to not decline fast enough to meet US climate goals, despite the sharp increase in EV sales.

“Policymakers can use gasoline consumption micro-data data to move us from inefficient, one-size-fits-all EV policies to more strategic policies focused on switching the biggest gasoline users to EVs first,” said Janelle London, co-executive director and founder at Coltura. “That approach maximizes the vehicle emissions and air pollution avoided per EV. It also helps bring financial relief to the drivers who spend the biggest share of income on gasoline.”

Along with the report, Coltura released an updated Gasoline Data Center, with a national map, gasoline data insights, EV cost savings calculator, and EV adoption/emissions reduction forecasting tool.

This comprehensive data provides policymakers with essential information to craft more effective EV policies, highlighting key findings such as:

  • The top 10% of US light-duty vehicle drivers in terms of their gasoline use (“Gasoline Superusers”) consume 35% of the gasoline. On average, Superusers consume five times more gasoline than other drivers.
  • The majority of Superusers (58%) have household incomes of less than $100,000 and 43% of Superusers earn less than the national median household income of $74,580.
  • Superusers are paying on average $530 every month in gasoline – on average more than 10% of their income – compared to 3.5% for other drivers.
  • 57.7% of Superusers (12.1 million) live in rural and small-town America and 9% (1.9 million) live in major cities.

Coltura's data also emphasizes the potential impact of prioritizing Superusers for the switch to EVs:

  • If all Superusers made the switch to EVs, US carbon emissions would fall by 243 million metric tons annually – more than all aviation emissions (202 million metric tons).
  • Cutting US gasoline use in half would require 79 million drivers to switch to EVs if the biggest gasoline users switch first, versus 191 million drivers if the biggest gasoline users switch last.
  • If all 21 million Superusers switch to EVs, the US would save 40.5 billion gallons of gasoline a year. That means $149 billion in annual consumer spending would shift away from gasoline expenditures toward the EV transition and cleaner energy.
  • Superusers would save on average $4,318 each a year in fuel costs (the difference between gasoline costs and equivalent electricity costs where they live) by switching to an EV.

The data is the first national look into where Superusers are located, what they drive, the share of income they spend on gasoline, how much transitioning them to EVs will cut vehicle emissions and the ways governments can craft better policies to ensure Superusers can make the switch to EVs and save money on fuel and maintenance.

The report unveils several key policy recommendations to ensure a more effective and equitable EV transition:

  • Employ gasoline consumption data to target EV incentives and policies as well as outreach and education toward Superusers. This will relieve the financial burden of gasoline expenses for the most impacted low- and middle-income households and cut emissions faster.
  • Establish state and national gasoline reduction targets as primary transportation emissions goals. While there is a current hyper-focus on EV sales numbers, it’s the wrong metric to ensure progress in advancing climate goals. Merely purchasing an EV doesn't guarantee impact reduction; for instance, a person could own an EV that sits unused in their garage, resulting in far less impact than if a Superuser were to actively use an EV.

“While Americans are increasingly choosing EVs for their cost-saving and climate benefits, we still need policies to ensure gasoline use drops at the speed and scale needed to meet our climate goals,” said Matthew Metz, co-executive director, and founder at Coltura. “Our primary policy focus must be on Superusers, the drivers with the most to gain from switching to an EV and the greatest impact on reducing climate-warming emissions.”

Coltura's full report, "Cracking the Gasoline Code," provides in-depth insights into shaping effective EV policies. For more information, see the report.


About Coltura:

Founded in 2014, Coltura is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to improve climate, health, and equity by accelerating the switch from gasoline to cleaner alternatives. Our vision is a gasoline-free America by 2040 or sooner. We work to cut gasoline use quickly, efficiently and equitably by:

  • Developing policies and data to open new pathways for moving beyond gasoline;
  • Prioritizing policies that ease the financial burden on lower-income families who use the most gasoline;
  • Leading coalitions and arming leaders and advocates with policy and data tools to advance gasoline reduction policies; and
  • Challenging the acceptability of gasoline through social media, art, music, and other cultural means.

Learn more at www.coltura.org.

NEW REPORT: Data reveals why gasoline consumption not declining fast enough, need to target “Gasoline Superusers”
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