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  Gasoline Superusers 3.0 Report

Cracking The Gasoline Code

 

 
 
 

Coltura’s 2024 Nationwide Gasoline Superusers report, featured in the New York Times, provides new gasoline consumption data showing how to cut vehicle emissions more quickly, efficiently, and equitably by prioritizing the light duty vehicle drivers in the top 10% for gasoline use (“Superusers”) for the switch to EVs.

The 21 million US Gasoline Superusers make up just 0.24% of the world’s population, but they use 10.4% of the world’s gasoline – nearly as much as all of China. 

Switching from a gas-powered vehicle to an electric vehicle (EV) is an excellent way to displace large amounts of gasoline. There is a major opportunity to reduce gasoline use faster with new, data-driven strategies for accelerating Superusers’ switch to EVs.

This report illuminates for the first time the nationwide geographic, demographic, financial, and vehicular details of consumer gasoline use down to the census block group level.

It shows in granular detail:

  • How geography, income, vehicle type, and demography correlate with the volume of gasoline a person uses;
  • The financial burden of gasoline purchasing on the people who use the most gasoline; and
  • The outsized climate and social equity benefits from converting the drivers who use the most gasoline to EVs.
 
 
 
 

State-specific Superuser Data Factsheets and Policy Recommendations

Click to download state-level superuser reports.

 
 

 
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WE NEED DATA-DRIVEN POLICIES THAT MAXIMIZE GASOLINE REDUCTION AND EQUITY

 
 

 

Gasoline reduction should be a central goal and metric for state and federal governments.

 
 

 

Policymakers should prioritize lower-income Superusers for EV incentives, outreach and education.

 
 

 

The most detailed gasoline consumption data available should be used to guide policies and investments to maximize gasoline displacement, vehicle emissions, and financial relief to gasoline-burdened families.

 
 

GASOLINE DATA CENTER TOOLS

 
 

Superuser Bills And Laws

 
 
 
 

Previous Gasoline Superuser Reports

 

Our second, California-focused report, “Gasoline Superusers 2.0,” published in 2023, was based on millions of California vehicle records and other data sets. It illuminated for the first time the geographic, demographic, financial, and vehicular details of consumer gasoline use in California down to the zip code level. The report provided data and strategies for cutting vehicle emissions more quickly, efficiently, and equitably by prioritizing the biggest gasoline users for the switch to EVs. It was featured in Mother Jone Magazine and USA Today, among other publications.

 

 

Our first report, “Gasoline Superusers 1.0,” published in 2021, provided the first in-depth look at the data available on drivers in the top 10% of gasoline consumption, based on data from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey.  It analyzed EV incentives and other policy options for transitioning superusers to EVs and presented a model for achieving significant cuts in gasoline consumption by 2030. The report was covered by Bloomberg, the Niskanen Center and JP Morgan, among others.

 

 
 

Gasoline Superuser FAQs

1Who Are Gasoline Superusers?
The top 10% of US light duty vehicle drivers in terms of their gasoline consumption.
2What Have States Done Regarding Gasoline Superusers So Far?

Vermont enacted a bill in 2023 to authorize Burlington Electric Department to adopt the

Superuser approach in its EV incentive program.

In Washington, the Superuser concept has been incorporated in the Department of Commerce’s recently released transportation electrification plan.

In 2023 a bill to target low income Superusers in California passed unanimously through two key committees, with bipartisan support. Building on that momentum, environmental groups are aligning around a similar bill that helps low income drivers with older cars that use more gasoline switch to EVs.

The Maryland Climate Pollution Reduction Plan includes recommendations to target Superusers in state incentive programs, and legislation that would prioritize high consumption fuel users for outreach on incentives is being considered.

The Colorado Energy office weighed in with the Colorado PUC, urging Xcel Energy to consider the Superuser approach in its 2024-2026 Transportation Electrification Plan.

Michigan Governor Whitmer’s plan to fully electrify the state’s fleet calls for prioritizing the government vehicles that use the most gasoline.

3Should The US Ban Gasoline Vehicles?

Our nonprofit is dedicated to reducing gasoline use as quickly as possible, and ultimately phasing it out as a fuel. That requires a swift and steady switch to EVs, starting with the drivers using the most gasoline who will save the most money and cause the biggest climate benefit by switching. The main point of our Gasoline Superusers report is to be smart about where and how we deploy EVs for maximum environmental and economic benefits. That’s why we’re calling for programs to prioritize the biggest gasoline users for the switch to EVs. It’ll be better for families saddled with the cost of gasoline, and it’ll be better for the planet.

Learn more about diesel and gasoline bans for vehicles across the world.

Learn more about the life cycle harms of gasoline.

4How Does The Inflation Reduction Act Impact Gasoline Superusers?

The $7,500 Inflation Reduction Act EV subsidies are kicking in. We need to make sure these incentives are having the biggest impact by targeting outreach and education about the subsidies to Superusers, and ideally providing Superusers with additional EV incentives. This will lower the barriers for people using the most gasoline when it comes to accessing electric vehicles— maximizing both cost savings and emissions reductions.

Learn more about EV incentives.

5What Gasoline Policies Could Make The Biggest Impact?

Establishing state and national gasoline reduction targets as primary transportation emissions goals is a critical gasoline policy. While there is a current 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.

From there, it’s crucial to employ gasoline consumption data to target EV incentives and policies as well as outreach and education toward Gasoline Superusers. Our data identifies where Superusers are located, what they drive, and share of income spent on gasoline, down to the census block group level.

Coltura’s report, "Country Crossroads," published in 2024, sheds light on the hidden challenges faced by "rural Gasoline Superusers" — a small subset of rural drivers who, despite comprising less than 4% of the US population, account for nearly 13% of the nation's gasoline consumption.

Learn from our free webinar about how the gasoline superuser approach can help reduce air pollution faster and more equitably.

 
 

Gasoline Consumption FAQs

1How Much Gasoline Is Consumed Globally?
Global gasoline consumption hit an all time high of 26.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2023.
2How Much Gasoline Does The United States Consume?

The US used 135 billion gallons of gasoline in 2022 (more than one-third of global use), and light-duty vehicles consumed about 85% of that amount.

In the US, EVs are mainly going to wealthy drivers who are not displacing very much gasoline. We need to ensure governments focus on smart policies to maximize the climate impact of every EV, getting them into the hands of drivers who use the most gasoline, and those who suffer most from the financial impact of paying for it. This is especially important in rural areas and middle America where distances are far, transit options are few, and people rely on cars the most.

3EV Sales and Gasoline Consumption Trends

Our Gasoline Superusers report reveals a concerning discrepancy: while EV sales are going up, gasoline consumption isn’t meaningfully going down and certainly not fast enough to meet our climate goals.

Understanding gasoline consumption data is crucial for crafting more effective policies to get EVs where they’re needed most— all in an effort to maximize climate and economic benefits of electric vehicles.

4Global Gasoline Prices
The cost of gasoline is an ongoing discussion in American politics and will certainly be a core subject during the Presidential election this year. We know the most effective way to save people money on gasoline and insulate ourselves from the volatility of the oil market is by transitioning to EVs. This is especially important for the people driving the most, many of whom are lower-income. We need to make sure our EV policies and incentives are targeted to the people who would benefit the most from making the transition to electric.
 
 

Electric Vehicle FAQs

1What Is The Environmental Impact Of EVs?

The overall environmental impact of EVs is less than that of gas cars. Overwhelmingly, lifecycle assessments consistently show that EVs have a substantially lower carbon footprint over their entire lifespan compared to traditional gasoline cars. Their efficiency, coupled with advancements in renewable energy, positions EVs as a pivotal solution in the broader effort to combat climate change and create a more sustainable transportation future.

Learn more about EV batteries and the environment.

Learn more about the dangers of gasoline and vehicle pollution.

2What Electric Vehicle Policies Could Make The Biggest Impact?

The data show it’s time to move beyond one-size-fits-all EV policies. A more strategic approach, targeting the biggest gasoline users first, is essential for cutting vehicle emissions faster, more efficiently and more equitably.

By prioritizing Gasoline Superusers for the switch to EVs, we not only reduce emissions faster and with fewer total EVs, but also provide significant financial relief to those spending a significant portion of their income on gasoline.

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ARE YOU A MEDIA MEMBER, RESEARCHER OR INVOLVED IN POLICY-MAKING?

Get in touch with us with any questions or ideas!

 

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GASOLINE SUPERUSERS 3.0 REPORT: CRACKING THE GASOLINE CODE
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