Report from Coltura Finds Achieving Climate Goals Depend on the Rapid Conversion of Gasoline Superusers to Electric Vehicles
Federal and state electric vehicle policy and incentives must target the biggest gasoline consumers to achieve carbon emissions goals.
Our report, “Gasoline Superusers,” provides the first in-depth look at the data available on drivers in the top 10% of gasoline consumption, so-called “gasoline superusers.” It analyzes EV incentives and other policy options for transitioning superusers to EVs and presents a model for achieving significant cuts in gasoline consumption by 2030.
Understanding gasoline consumption patterns is key to effective EV policies and understanding the real-world impact of EV adoption on CO2 emissions.
This is the first published study identifying the demographic characteristics of gasoline superusers and calling for EV incentive programs and other policies to focus on maximizing gasoline displacement. Getting gasoline superusers into EVs as quickly as possible is critical to hitting our climate goals because they consume a third of U.S. gasoline.
Matthew Metz, the lead author of the report and founder and co-executive director of Coltura
The Washington Post and Bloomberg discuss Coltura’s gasoline superuser research here and here.
The current flat EV incentives are being used primarily by higher-income drivers who tend not to use much gasoline… The people who use the most gasoline are more evenly spread across the income spectrum, and many lower-income gasoline superusers spend upwards of 20% of their household income on gasoline. It’s more equitable as well as more efficient to give these drivers the biggest incentives to switch to EVs.
Janelle London, co-author of the report and the co-executive director of Coltura
The findings of this report, modeled in part from data published in the most recent National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), are instrumental for policymakers to design incentive programs and other policies that maximize reductions in gasoline use and address infrastructure requirements to meet the needs of gasoline superusers.
Coming Soon: Superusers 2.0 Report:
The top 10% of US light duty vehicle drivers in terms of their gasoline consumption (“gasoline superusers”) use more gasoline than the bottom 60% of drivers combined. The US could cut gasoline use faster, with fewer total EVs on the road, by prioritizing superusers’ switch to EVs. But governments are tracking numbers of EVs instead of gallons of gasoline displaced – incorrectly assuming that all EVs displace equal amounts of gasoline – and don’t know who these superusers are. Coltura has combined millions of motor vehicle registration records and other datasets to ascertain superuser geographic, demographic, financial, and vehicular details down to the zip code level. We are using this data to advance policies and investments using gasoline reduction as the key metric in cutting transportation emissions, and prioritizing superusers (especially the 60% who are low/moderate income) for EV incentives, education and outreach.