EVs Made the First Visible Dent into Gasoline Consumption

Gasoline sales have already been stagnating for years, interrupted by big drops in demand.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Gasoline consumption in the US dipped by 0.4% in 2022, from 2021, to 369 million gallons per day, all grades of gasoline combined, below where it had been in 2002, and down by 5.7% from 2019, and by 5.9% from the peak in 2018, according to data from the Energy Department’s EIA.

And yet, in 2022 employment grew by 4.8 million. And miles driven increased by nearly 1%. It’s not that economic activity declined or that people drove less. But they bought less gasoline:

When we look at a chart like this, in a country with substantial population growth over the years, our first reaction might go like this: I don’t want to be in this market. But refiners and gas stations are in this market.

We can see the impact of the big recessions on gasoline consumption: The double-dip recession in the early 1980s, the 1990/1991 recession, the Great Recession, and the lockdown period in 2020. Shallow recessions, such as the 2001 recession, didn’t make a visible gouge into gasoline consumption.

From about 2007 on, we can also see that something bigger is playing out here than just periodic recessions: Structural factors.

And yet, miles driven by all passenger and commercial vehicles, including those powered by diesel, ticked up 0.9% to 3.17 trillion miles in 2022, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Miles driven haven’t recovered fully to 2019 levels (-2.8%) likely at least in part because of reduced commuting in the era of working from home. Many office workers are now either working from home entirely, or are going to the office on some days and working at home on others.

Why the drop in gasoline consumption despite more miles driven?

The primary long-term structural factor at work is the rising fuel economy of the vehicles in the national fleet. This started many years ago, and it continued in 2022…

Despite rising HP. Higher fuel economy despite more powerful vehicles as internal combustion engines and their control systems have come a long way:

Why the dip in gasoline consumption in 2022 from 2021, instead of further recovery from the 2020 lows?

Ah-ha, finally, a long-anticipated moment. The growth of EVs in the national fleet inched to the visible surface of gasoline consumption. EV sales in 2022 grew to a share of about 7% of total new vehicle sales in the US. In California, EV sales in 2022 accounted for 17% of total sales. These numbers are starting to show up at the gas station as a decline in gasoline sales.

Even though the market share of EVs in the US reached 7% in 2022, up from near 0% a decade ago, their share of the national fleet in operation is still minuscule, and for now, the impact on gasoline sales is small in the US overall. But we can finally see this first little dent.

The impact of EVs on gasoline consumption was bound to show up, and it was part of the mix in prior years, but at such low levels that it got lost in the shuffle.

Sales shift from refiners and gas stations to electric utilities.

Conversely, as gasoline consumption declined in 2022, electricity generated and sold to end-users in the US finally broke out of the 15-year stagnation and set a new record, in part because of EVs (there are also other new power-hogs, such as crypto mining, which has taken off in the US a few years ago).

Electric utilities, for years stuck in a no-growth business in many parts of the country, are licking their chops at the prospects of being able to sell more electricity:

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  277 comments for “EVs Made the First Visible Dent into Gasoline Consumption

  1. BENW says:

    Time will tell if EV sales stall out due to a multitude of factors.

    I’d say this is very likely and probably occurs no later than 20%.

    Further, I think Wolf is making some over extrapolations both in terms of drop in gas consumption & increased electricity demand.

    Do I think EVs have made a difference in both? Sure, but I think it, for now, is being over exaggerated, except for CA.

    The whole work from home scenario has more to do with a drop in gas consumption than EVs. That’s a no brainer.

    • Root Farmer says:

      That’s what I love about this site. Wolf gathers the data, assembles the graphs and provides his best intuition on what the data means.

      Then along comes someone with no data (or even a coherent argument) explaining their feelings about Wolf’s topic claiming he is extrapolating the data. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

      The last line demonstrates that there was no time to actually read the article as the goal is to be the first commenter. I guess congratulations are in order.

      • Apple says:

        I’m not sure why EVs draw so much anger from people.

        I wonder if it was the same when automobiles replaced horses a 100 years ago?

        • Seba says:

          “I’m not sure why EVs draw so much anger from people. ”

          Right? It seems to be a highly emotional issue for people 😆. I’m impressed that wolf hasn’t closed comments for at least 2 EV articles now. People are absolutely fanatical about the topic. It comes down to politics though. Since I’m in the construction industry I have to deal with anti-EV rhetoric practically once per 2 week shift, and I’m sure you could easily guess the political leanings of these particular coworkers. It’s the world we live in now.

        • phillip jeffreys says:

          Because the analysis is much broader than a couple graphs – it dovetails into what lies at the root of all of this: energy policy, gov’t forced outcomes.

          I too have grown weary of the whole discussion. It’s a religion in large measure for all sides.

          Gov’t subsidies, gov’t forced outcomes, rare earth mineral supplies, electrical energy sources, cost-of-living impacts, recycling – to name just a few pieces of the broader landscape that really underlies much of this.

          O&G is on the way out. The timeframe is problematic.

        • old school says:

          I think it is because many of us are a little sceptical of government abilities to direct the economy and because the arguments for net zero are done at a juvenile level.

          EVs are cleaner than modern IC and a little cleaner than hybrid for the same size vehicle. There is the environmental cost of making the vehicle which means if you already have an efficient vehicle the best thing you can do is drive less and avoid a new car from having to be produced.

        • joe2 says:

          I’m an agnostic capitalist about the whole ICE vs EV issue. I just have to get from here to there and I would like to do it in the most cost effective, cleanest, and most comfortable manner. I do my own engineering and economic analysis on the issue. Engineering and reliability wise an electric motor(s) and drive chain is superior to a gas engine. But the battery is a whole nother issue. I expect 15 to 20 years from a vehicle and to be able to drive on long trips.

          So until the battery thing is resolved, a hybrid seems the best solution which is what I will buy next.

          But I think the anger is about yet another diktat from on high on what to buy and how you are told to live. Ordering from behind instead of leading from the front. You buy an EV but I will drive my gas Corvette. You eat bugs but we are having filet mignon for lunch at Davos.

          Imagine the difference if EVs were introduced with a cheaper price, more reliable and longer lasting chassis, and a fast widely available method of charging. The economics would sell itself.

        • Arnold says:

          You can buy three $25k Chevy Bolts for the price of one Ford F-150.

          I think the reason for the EV hate is that the vehicles are not masculine enough. I think the Ford Lightening and GM Hummer will change that perspective rather quickly.

        • Zaridin says:

          I don’t get it either. I own an EV and love it, but it’s not like I try to convert people from ICE vehicles if that’s how they roll. Like, seriously, can’t we just have ICE vehicles with better mph, AND EVs? It’s all good right?

          I suspect it has something to do with “muh freedums” or something, but I don’t get the anger against EVs.

          Now, by the same token, those supporting EV claims that EVs are going to replace all gas vehicles soon are equally silly to me. The future will be a patchwork quilt, not a mono-colored sheet.

        • Publius says:

          To Arnold, note that GM is cancelling the Bolt. Also, F-150 shoppers are not looking at the Bolt; F-150 Lightning or Cybertruck are the F-150 comparators.

        • FleaBite says:

          Tesla model 3 starts at $40k. Google says it uses 34kWh of electricity per 100 miles. I live in Northern California and PGE charges around 35 cents per kWh (it varies slightly from month to month). So the cost of electricity to propel the car for 100 miles is $11.90 or 11.9 cents per mile. A Toyota Camry starts at a little over $26k and is rated at 28/39 MPG – I would easily get 35 or more combined as my driving is more highway based. So I can buy gasoline at $4.165 per gallon and it will cost me the same as powering a Tesla model 3. Fuel costs are very comparable but model 3 starts at around $14k more expensive. For a little under $29k, one can get a Camry hybrid and it is rated at 51/53 MPG. This vehicle is $11k cheaper and the driver can pay up to $6.188 per gallon and still be better off than buying electricity for the Tesla. Is this argument a form of anger? I do not believe so.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          You’re comparing a Tesla Model 3 to a Camry, and that’s nonsense. The Model 3 is in a different category of vehicle than a Camry. The base Model 3 is a near-luxury rear-wheel drive sports sedan with a fairly high performance. It competes directly with and compares to a BMW 3-series with similar performance. You need to compare prices and operating costs of equivalent vehicles, not this apples and oranges BS.

        • NBay says:

          “…..the anger is about another diktat from on “high” about what you are told to buy and how you are to live.”

          Yeah Joe, and since 40% of the people in the US believe the Bible is the exact words of the Christian deity, and another 20% “aren’t quite sure” a State Religion would solve a lot of “problems” with the damned “government diktats” angering people. Of course the choice among religions for the US State Religion is obvious.

          It’s nothing new. The wealthy have manipulated people using religion since humans invented deities.

          “Religion is obvious to the commoners, foolish to the wise, and very useful to the rulers” -Seneca c100AD

          About the same time the Roman rulers were adapting, editing, and INDEXING the whole Bible for their new State Religion…yeah…that’s who made it easy to find the “relevant” “diktats from on high” as needed. They wrote the New Testament to their more specific needs)


          You and most others can pour a cup or two of cerebral cortex on the church floor…but I don’t care to….nobody can save this planet but us…probably too late but might as well try, and EVs make sense since fossil fuel will kill us for sure, sooner or later…maybe even much sooner than we think.

          What would Jesus do, since he “gets us” as the TV ads say?

        • NBay says:

          The 40%-60% numbers can be sourced at Wikipedia under “Creationism”, IIRC, or the PEW institute.

          Miller said his Red state relatives want to burn the whole government down and have a Civil war. I’d say mine want all that AND a Holy war……and it’s all predestined by God anyway, so for now, live it up (fuck EVs, get a loaded Dodge Ram….instead of “Guts and Glory”, their ads now are for people who have “Heart”, and sung in a female voice)…..and fight the infidels to ensure you live forever.

      • Blam35 says:


        Working from home and not commuting can’t easily be dismissed to not have had an effect on gas demand. It’s so pervasive and widespread. One doesn’t need a complex, cohesive argument, just eyeballs.

        • Harrold says:

          Also much better fuel economy is making a difference. Case in point, I just bough a minivan. 4500 pounds and it gets the same highway mileage as my old 3200 pound honda accord.

          Better engines. More gears keeping the RPMs in a sweet spot.

          And yes, work from home. My brother WFH 3000 miles from his company’s office. A few of my neighbors do the same.

        • Root Farmer says:


          Thanks for taking time to reply. The comment section is often loaded with anecdotes that help add colorful narratives behind the stories. Some are informative and some are down right funny.

          I find rich information and analysis at this site both from the proprietor of the site and many commenters. My trigger here, is the claim that Wolf’s analysis is ‘extrapolated’ and should be supplanted by someone’s anecdotal observations. If there is evidence (anecdotes are not evidence), bring it to the table and explain how it fits in or doesn’t. I don’t claim to know how deep the WFH phenomenon is impacting gasoline usage but I am open to supported arguments.

          Wolf’s a big boy and can defend himself. Given the effort he puts into these articles, I do get annoyed at how simply people just dismiss his analysis because it doesn’t agree with their observations. If I could understand what is going on just by watching my neighbors, I wouldn’t feel a need to come here.

          Again, I appreciate your response.

        • longstreet says:

          Exactly. Good pt.
          Probably the largest impact vs any EV impact.

        • El Katz says:

          I don’t think that anyone is dismissing Wolf’s analysis. However, there are some counterpoints that do deserve to be considered. Examples include the introduction of 10-speed electronically controlled transmissions, idle stop (as annoying as it is), “sloppier” engine tolerances to reduce friction (but can increase oil consumption), the reduction of displacement in ICE engines but with HP increases developed by the inclusion of inter-cooled turbochargers (in some cases multiple). Examples of that are 5-series BMW’s that now feature 4 bangers with bi-turbos vs. larger displacement 6 cylinder engines and V8’s of previous generations or the Ford F150 Raptor (which is presently a 3.5 liter turbo charged “Ecoboost” 6 cylinder vs. the 6.2 liter V8 of a few years ago). Honda’s in on the turbo craze and reduced the displacement of the Accord 4 banger from 2.0 liters to 1.5 liters with a turbocharger and a rubber band (CVT) transmission.

        • Chris says:

          Of course it made a difference in 2020, but since then the percent of people working from home has gone down so how would this trend drive the drop for 2021-2022. Both survey data and data on badge swipes shows that more people went into offices in 2022 than 2021. Either way Wolf showed total miles driven went up 1% YoY and gas sales went down, so the change has to be some combo of better MPG and EVs

        • NBay says:

          “sloppier engine tolerances to reduce friction but can cause oil loss”

          Katz, just where did you get that horseshit? You may have been in auto management or sales , but you don’t know shit about auto tech/engineering. Quit spouting all the same crapp a salesman spouts, but still knows NOTHING about engineering.
          I’m not impressed by your BS.

      • phillip jeffreys says:

        Lotta graphs and data in your response!

        • Implicit says:

          My understanding from this site is that Musk lowered his prices considerably. This variable pobabably will be the largest factor on a continuation of the trend cited in the above data. Just guessing.

        • electroneuter says:

          Why don’t you just post the counter argument in a form of a chart, tabular data, or hyperlinks… oooops. Farmer, farmer…

          Not really a conversation here at WS, more of a presentation. Learn what you can and off you go. This is neither Twitter, nor ZH. Not a public square, but Wolf’s street.

        • El Katz says:

          Prices at Tesla are like a yo-yo. They’re up again. Tesla gets away with it as, apparently, their customers don’t care if they paid more than the next guy or last guy. Legacy automakers get flamed when they reduce prices (which they don’t do… the MSRP’s stay static but they offer incentives to create discounts).

        • phillip jeffreys says:

          My perspective:

          1. El is correct – Tesla pricing rose in the last week. Makes sense given Wolf’s premise that the intent was to undercut traditional automakers in the first place. Mission accomplished? We’ll see what happens at scale especially as the global geopolitical/economic environment continues to bifurcate.

          2. Posting graphs, links, etc., is a bit more controlled here. Revisit any comment thread and one will observe minimal to no comments with graphs. There is some useful data/thinking, especially from the technical sorts and financial wonks.

          3. Behavioral remonstrations aside, this is a good site in the sense of the owner not just finger wagging but instead bringing real experience and depth. That’s the value function IMO. I have learned.

          4. Do I think a comment thread is the ideal format for working a complex problem? No. I don’t. Nature of the beast.

          5. Do I think there is a broad variety of backgrounds, experience, expertise, etc.? Don’t know. No real way to tell barring direct information sharing.

          6. Is there value here? Wouldn’t be here if there weren’t.

          So, fine, enough of the unsolicited bla bla from this individual. T

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Tesla raised prices on a few models a little, after it slashed them by a lot, and it didn’t raise the Model 3 price, and all pries are a LOT lower than last year.

      • BENW says:

        HA HA! Could care less about being first. And Wolf isn’t some Oracle. He can be wrong or at least off base which is what I’m suggesting. He’s over generalizing causation, and I readily admit that he’s onto something.

        Extrapolating: to predict by projecting past experience or known data.

        While it may not be perfectly used, Wolf is without a doubt drawing a conclusion that doesn’t meet the correlation vs causation rule.

        • phillip jeffreys says:

          Yes…extrapolating and predictive analytics are not the same.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          Your comment showed that you DIDN’T READ the article. The fact that miles driven (look at the chart) increased in 2022 proved that. And it shot down your BS in advance. You made a comment and were clueless, and that’s what you get.

        • Justin says:

          I’m not sure why this is such a point of contention. An obvious way to square the increase in miles driven with a decrease in gas consumption is a change in the mix of miles driven: highway vs city.

          Personally, I drove a lot more in 2022 and 2023 than usual because air travel was ridiculously expensive, so I did a ridiculous amount of maximum efficiency driving with my car cross-state leading to about 20% more mpg than my normal work commute (which I also don’t do as frequently due to WFH). Anecdotally, my co-workers and friends did similar trips to avoid high airfare. Two even drove across the entire length of the USA in order to transition from WFH to RTO since they couldn’t work from the family home on the east coast anymore (we are in CA).

          I find that I have to agree with BENW that there’s a bit missing from Wolf’s analysis. It appears obvious to me and, quite frankly, should have been obvious to Wolf as well given the repeated admissions of large changes in driving behavior. But, no analysis can be perfect and I don’t expect it from Wolf where I pretty frequently disagree with some aspect of his reasoning or find what I consider to be gaps in the data.

          I don’t know why the tone of conversation here is so toxic, but I think we could all use a few minutes to just breathe and remember that these are only words on the internet.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          You’re wrong. You can check the FHA data. What increased is traffic on the commuting routes, not long-distance routes.

          You’re wrong also because air traffic and ticket sales increased in 2022 from 2021, massively, people were buying tickets just fine. The boom is called “revenge travel.

          You’re wrong because, instead of looking at the data, you extrapolated from your personal behavior onto the rest of the Americans. But Americans don’t listen to you. They moved on.

          Articles with “EV” in the title seems to empower people to post whatever.

      • buda atum says:

        Congratulations from me too.

      • Brooks says:

        I’m all for ev, I have a hummer ordered, but I do believe we’re going to hit a plateu due to apartment renters. There is no good options for them to charge and apartment complexes aren’t going to pay to install charging stations and going to a charger is difficult and limited. Something needs to change.

    • SDKen says:

      I bite my tongue when I hear all of the anti-EV rhetoric, but it’s hard. Tesla’s 2022 impact report debunks pretty much all of the “it’s worse than oil” points that are flying around. It’s worth a look if you doubt it but haven’t read it.

      “In 2022, the Tesla community avoided emitting approximately 13.4 million metric tons of CO2e into the Earth’s atmosphere—that’s equal to over 33 billion miles of pollution from driving an ICE vehicle.” -from a recent Tesla email notification … I’m not sure people can fathom how effective this one EV car company has already been at detoxifying the environment, much less the EV makers in China. It’s certainly not being over exaggerated.

      • Gattopardo says:

        Oh yeah, I’m sure it is totally not overstated by TESLA, the king of overstatement.

      • longstreet says:

        ” I’m not sure people can fathom how effective this one EV car company has already been at detoxifying the environment,”

        In conducting such analysis, one must also include the other factors such as battery production, mining the lithium, etc, the weight of the car on the roads, the disposal of used batteries, cant use the “jaws of life” because of all the electrical, and of course the ACTUAL energy that moves the car.
        Batteries only STORE energy, they do not PRODUCE energy.
        Just sayin’

        • longstreet says:

          The source of the energy that is placed in those batteries, and the ramifications from the production from those sources, must be considered in any environmental impact analysis.
          just sayin’

        • Tom Jones says:

          An abundance of lithium has recently been discovered in the geothermal sludge that makes electricity and was previously just discarded. Now the lithium can just be easily separated from sludge. This is in the Salton Sea area in Southern California.

        • gaston says:

          Tom Jones –
          That abundance of lithium at the Salton Sea already had one extraction failure. Its not easily separated.

          It’s an interesting opportunity, but no need to spread false info about the difficulty of extraction.

        • phillip jeffreys says:


          What’s in play has never been about EVs per se. It’s about the whole set of interactions among energy, transportation, climate change “science”, distribution grids, population “management” (e.g., 15 minute cities), etc. Throw in ideology and politics and it becomes a very complicated space to model.

        • NBay says:

          “Batteries only STORE energy, they do not PRODUCE it”.

          Thanks, I didn’t know that….you must be an engineer. I always appreciate intelligent and educated people here.

      • sufferinsucatash says:

        So Tesla did their own impact report?


      • Julian says:


        CO2 is NOT a pollutant!

        If we as humans somehow reduced CO2 on planet earth to ZERO – how do you think we’d fare?

        Not well Ken. Not well at all.

    • Pants_Relief says:

      “The whole work from home scenario has more to do with a drop in gas consumption than EVs. That’s a no brainer.”

      From wolf’s article:

      “And yet, miles driven by all passenger and commercial vehicles, including those powered by diesel, ticked up 0.9% to 3.17 trillion miles in 2022, according to the Federal Highway Administration.”

      So eager to point out the work from home effect while downplaying EV impact…yet more miles were driven than prior year, and less fuel was used. It seems like you might be going out of your way to downplay EV effect on reduced fuel consumption.

      • Paul says:

        Perfect comment, you’re being too logical assuming everyone reads

        • Gattopardo says:

          Or maybe since gas prices are up, people drive more gently? Or bought better mpg cars? Or…”

        • 728huey says:

          In fairness, the statements aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. On the one hand, more people are working from home. UT then again you have a lot more Uber, Lyft, and Doordash drivers bringing goods all around town.

      • longstreet says:

        What is the standard deviation of “miles driven” study/estimation?

        asking for a friend

        • NBay says:

          The REAL question is simply why do Gat and Long want EVs to go away so badly? Do they hurt them personally?

          What a pair of……somethings…..they are.

      • phillip jeffreys says:


        My job shifted due to pandemic impacts. Believe it or not, I ended up driving 250 mi twice a week (there and back) versus the 10 mi daily round trip I formerly drove.

        When an employer notes that “well, working from home is fine, we’re happy you moved to a Southern state, but you must come back to DC some weekend soon in order to load the new software/OS upgrade by our engineers.”

        Given all the supply chain and other dislocations caused by Covid – including the desire of consumers to travel more after lockdown constraints – the bump is easy to understand.

    • Evan says:

      Oh, well if YOU think EVs have made a difference, that’s all we need to know.

      Thanks. We will give your opinion all of the consideration it deserves.

    • Ja M says:

      There’s zero chance EV sales drop out. The underlying long term economics of electric vehicles are just too good. Lower energy costs, lower maintenance costs, and soon, lower capital outlay (i.e., purchase) costs. No one will want a gas car when it costs more to buy, has lower performance, and costs more to run. That is the economic reality that is guaranteed in the coming decade.

      The battery cost curve will continue its inexorable decline; the input metals problem continues to be creatively addressed through both new supply and changing chemistries. Fearmongering of cathode material shortages have been just that.. fearmongering.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        Very good summary of logical and likely progress toward increased EVs at all levels of transportation IMO Ja!
        Anecdotally, WE, in this case the family WE, have NOT driven across USA since 2019, and subsequently have reduced our miles per year to under 6K, as opposed to over 20K before that.
        And IIRC, I was averaging 2500 miles per WEEK 20 years or so ago.
        WE are definitely looking forward to our first EV, and will be buying one as soon as ”decent” infrastructure is established locally, and that process IS underway at this time. Not coincidentally, when we tried to buy our choice in January 2022, we were told it was not sold in FL due to lack of infrastructure.

        • anon says:



          Your comment describes our situation almost exactly!

          Except that we live in Illinois and not Florida.

      • Mitry says:

        Most of my construction tools are electric (except the truck, of course). My personal lawn tools are electric (no electric riding mower yet, the Toro ones are $38k). Do batteries have their virtues, absolutely. I’m sure no one would trade in their cordless impact for a brutish corded drill. I leave my cordless tools in my trailer year round, and they work in 0 degree temperatures, and I only charge them once a week.

        When automobiles achieve the level of refinement and reliability that cordless construction tools have achieved, I’m in. I’ll gladly buy a Terminator to help me organize and carry my tools. But we’re not there yet.

        • Blake says:

          You’re pretty close. The same battery technology is what’s going into cars. Yes the batteries will have limitations just like your tools (a drill plugged into the wall never runs out of energy), but lithium ion has changed the game. Now it’s all about cost and capacity to meet the demands of consumers.

      • Happy1 says:

        If so, why do we need to tax subsidy the purchase of EV?

        • Carl Wilson says:

          The tax subsidy is need by ICE manufactures that are try to add an EV component to their business.

        • gaston says:

          One doesn’t need a subsidy to add a component to one’s business in which their is stated high demand

          The subsidies should have been phased out after about 2019

      • phillip jeffreys says:

        Where’s your data?

        What are the current numbers?

        What is happening in basic materials markets?

        Are you assuming energy prices drop in the long run? Coulda, woulda, shoulda!!

        At present….all I see are huge gov’t subsidies and other gov’t interference in markets.

      • Ryan L says:

        Plus materials like Aluminium and Graphene that can replace lithium etc are provide more power, faster charging, longer life, and more range. Could even be used for larger propeller aircraft and marine use.

        Even if you keep with Lithium newer batteries can in theory last over a million miles of use before needing a replacement battery.

    • edx says:

      From the scientist that predicted in 2014 that battery prices would come down from $500 per kwh to $100 in 2023. Scarily accurate:

      “Soon enough you’re going to see million-mile EVs. And what that means is that over 10 years you’re going to need just one EV for 10 petrol cars. it’s pretty much over for internal combustion engine.”

      I’m afraid ICE is over and if you don’t react fast enough you will be caught upside down in whatever petrol car/truck you are stuck with.

      • Ethan in NoVA says:

        My vehicle is a fixed cost that is paid for. It is pointless to buy another vehicle until it is no longer usable unless fuel or parts were to get prohibitively expensive.

        Tesla needs some new body styles, the current ones are too common and kind of boring. Also the Prius drivers upgraded to Teslas and are now are driving all over DC really slow, plugging up traffic flow. It’s hurting the cool factor.

      • sufferinsucatash says:

        But what happens when you have to pay Tesla $15,000 to replace your battery when it is out of warranty?

        Because that is what it costs.

        • EVsaretheFuture says:

          The batteries are good for 1500 charging cycles which at a 300 mile range is around 450k miles. Most ICE vehicle barely last 200k.

      • MM says:

        “caught upside down in whatever petrol car/truck you are stuck with”

        What does this even mean? An accident where your car flips over? I drive pretty carefully because I like my car. This comment reads like gibberish to me.

        • Flea says:

          MM it means you owe more than vechile is worth

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          …so we’re back to: “…you can live in your car, but you can’t drive your house…”? (…but cars only depreciate and houses only appreciate?…).

          may we all find a better day.

        • MM says:

          A vehicle is a depreciating asset, of course its resale value is less than the loan. That’s a given. I imagine EVs lose half their value when you drive them off the lot too.

          “Better upgrade now before your ICE is obselete” is the epitome of mindless American consumerism. Do you really *need* to upgrade, or can you drive what you already have a bit longer? Gas stations aren’t gonna disappear tomorrow.

        • MM says:

          91B20 – I’ve had to sleep in my car on a number of occasions, its just never the same quality sleep…

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          MM – true dat.

          may we all find a better day.

      • Seen it all before, Bob says:


        “I’m afraid ICE is over and if you don’t react fast enough you will be caught upside down in whatever petrol car/truck you are stuck with.”

        1) I don’t think I’ve ever considered any car I’ve owned as an appreciating asset.

        2) I suppose if you keep your ICE car years past when they stop making them, they could be considered classics and may become an appreciating asset. Start hoarding now!

    • Zaridin says:

      I mean, someone with Wolf’s experience clearly didn’t already take into account the work from home scenario, which obviously also is because more people are working from home now than did last year, right? Isn’t it fun when we throw assertions around with no evidence or stats to support it? Whhheeeee!

      /removes tongue from cheek

      Bruh, either bring data to back up your punch, or get the hell out of the ring.

    • GWa says:

      Doing the math:

      1 Gallon is equivalent to 33.4kWh and one year has 365days.

      Eyeballing the graph 20Mil gallon per day less is 243820GWh less gasoline raw energy.

      Eyeballing the electricity graph about 100000GWh more.

      Taking into account the atrocious efficiency of the internal combustion engine and we are roughly on par.

    • Al says:

      The EV market is not going to stagnate. The US as is often the case, is behind and hence EV adoption is slower. In China EV sales are now 50% of total sales, Norway is over 75% ev’s on the road. Similar stories in Germany and other European countries. Make no mistake the US will also have the majority of sales being EV’s- we will be a few years behind but then what’s new?

      • Paradise is Hawaii says:

        You are making a ridiculous comparison based on facts that are different in each of those economies such as the price of gasoline, population density in cities, and driving distances.

        EV’s in Hawaii make perfect sense when looking at gasoline prices, gridlock on the roads, and driving distances.

        When looking at electricity prices for charging one here that may make a huge difference especially depending on the time of day.

        • Sams says:

          In the USA, what is the typical distance traveled by car?
          Even better if broken down to daily, before returning to home/charger and so on. Do even throw in how often is a car used for long trips and how many cars do never leave their home town.

          Around here the typical distance start to stop is 4km or 1.6 miles. Those charging at home may get 75% or something like that of ther driving electric if they have a plug in hybrid with a 70km, 40 miles.

          The USA may be different, one there is usally more cars in each household. An electric car may have more than enough range for daily use.

        • Rational Being says:

          Plug-In-Hybrid = Sweet Spot for years to come
          I bought a Prius Prime Limited in 2020 in a southern state. The dealer couldn’t wait to get it off the lot and I got a fair deal. I average 31 miles on the smallish battery. My daily run to town and back requires only about 28 miles of range for which the 6 KWh costs me about 60 cents. My Prime gets WAY better Miles/KWh than my friends Model X. (Why?)

          When I want to drive more than 30 miles I *just keep driving* and get about 60 mpg for my 600 miles of range. That is the best of both worlds.

          Fanatics of both religions can KMA.

      • Brooks says:

        Tell that to all the apartment renters. Huge issue needs a resolution soon.

  2. Frank says:

    Electric vehicles gaining market share, but I think the real story is in hybrids. Great mileage without the charging issues of electric. Hybrids also reduce overall gas consumption.
    I wonder if the popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles will over time devalue ICE vehicles as people will eventually come to prefer them. Any spike in gas prices will accelerate this trend.

    • IvanA says:

      Not really like that.

      Consumers will not have options. For instance Toyota Sienna or Sequoia, there is no non-hybrid option.

      • Harry Houndstooth says:

        Toyota’s new CEO, Koji Sato, acknowledged they fell behind in offering EVs as Telsa is eating their lunch, but they have vowed to change that.

        My 37 mile commute to work cost me $6000 in gas for 2022. The Nissan Leaf has a ‘battery bar’ which shows the remaining function of the expensive battery with just a glance of the dashboard. On Autotrader I found a first year 2011 Leaf with a new 12 bar battery in San Diego. I bought for $6000, which is the lowest price of a new battery without labor, so I figure I got the car for free. NASA did very good studies on prolonging lithium ion battery life and slow discharge and recharge are paramount (also not too hot and not too cold). I only use a Level I (120v) charger.

        It takes 4 times as much electricity per mile to drive at 70 vs. 35mph (wind resistance is proportional to the square of the speed). My Sienna daddy van gets 20mpg, so at $3.50 a gallon, that is 18 cents a mile. If I do the speed limit, the Leaf is about 4 cents a mile (16 cents a kwh). If I keep it under 40mph, it is under 3 cents a mile. If I drive it 50K miles, I’ll even get the battery for free in gas savings. (I expect the novelty will wear off before then, but who knows?)

        So if you see a electric blue 2011 Leaf around the Space Coast of Florida with the license plate WLFSTRT, it’s me.

    • Prairie Rider says:


      Your comment, “Hybrids also reduce overall gas consumption.” makes me wonder about my hybrid. That’s an interesting question: is my hybrid better than its gasoline only version?

      Most of my driving is city and metro highway with my ten year old RX450h. At stoplights, the hybrid turns off the ICE, and that saves gasoline. On the other hand, it is heavier than the RX350 ICE only counterpart. But, some of the extra weight offsets fuel consumption by using the electric power, which is generated from kinetic energy alone, to accelerate.

      So, to that question, I see the fuel ratings compared for a 2021 Lexus RX350 vs a RX450h. The 450 hybrid is the winner by 28 to 26 mpg on the highway & better yet, 31 to 19 mpg in the city. They have the same 0 to 60 mph times of 7.9 seconds.

      Alright. My old hybrid does indeed save me some money; especially when on city streets.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        When I drive our hybrid, I get 44-50 mpg (big car too). When my wife drives it, she gets 37-42. Our prior ICE rear-driver 300hp sedan got max 25 mpg on the highway cruising at speed limit, and a lot worse in town.

        • Brooks says:

          Which big hybrid do you have. We almost bought a ct6 hybrid in 2018 but the canceled production before it was built. Full size car with hybrid power train. Same issue with audi a8 hybrid.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Fusion. Which the moron execs at Ford also cancelled.

    • Max Power says:

      Yes, especially plug-in hybrids with 30+ miles of electric range which are becoming more common. With those vehicles, the vast majority of actual typical daily driving is done on electric only and you can fully recharge the vehicle overnight on a simple 110v household outlet. No fancy chargers needed. Also, in typical usage, the gasoline part of the engine and friction brakes hardly get any use and as such experience much less wear-and-tear than those components in a typical ICE vehicle.

      • Ethan in NoVA says:

        I like the idea of the Jeep Wrangler plug in hybrid, but the range is just too limited. Give me 60 miles or more electric only then go ICE.

    • ru82 says:

      Why do plug-in hybrids cost 20% more than a hybrid. I would be able to just use the 30 mike electric battery range for the commute to work each day. But the difference was $8k to $10k. Does it really cost that much to add a plug?

  3. Craig says:

    I don’t think the EVs are the reason. I think it is because so many of us are working from home. I don’t drive to work 30 minutes each way anymore. So I fill my tank way less often now. Started in 2019 from a layoff and then the pandemic hit and ever since that there is no way I want a job to drive to.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Read the article. The drop in gasoline consumption that I discussed occurred from 2021 to 2022. During that time, MILES DRIVEN INCREASED!! I even showed you the chart, LOL. RTGDFA. In 2021 working from home was even more concentrated than in 2022. By 2022, companies were calling back their employees at least for a few days a week, and commuting by car actually increased.

      • Ltlftc says:

        2021 average gas price: 3.100
        2022 average gas price: 4.059
        Current: 3.644

      • El Katz says:

        People may read but do they comprehend?

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          ElK – …even if they do, it appears a lotta brainpower is being expended on making a complex, non-binary issue into one…

          may we all find a better day.

      • Jj says:

        What’s the source for mileage? How is it calculated? My experience in the South Bay is commute traffic on 101, 880 and 85 continue to be lower than pre-pandemic levels.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          READ MY COMMENT. This is what it says: “The drop in gasoline consumption that I discussed occurred from 2021 to 2022.”

          Nothing about “pre-pandemic” in it. Zero. its 2022 v. 2021.

  4. Ist cousin Bubba says:

    Love it knowing there will be more gasoline for me. Just wish Government would quit picking winners and losers. Tax breaks, incentives, tax rebates and things like that. Look what they did to the housing market.

    • C# Dev says:

      Exactly, I have no interest in buying an EV but if work from home and EVs can reduce the price somewhat, it will help me. Gas prices in Phoenix are over $5 a gallon at this point.

      • Ist cousin Bubba says:

        Traveling around the country currently. Sedona Arizona currently has fuel 3.74. Phoenix taxes more???

        • C# Dev says:

          I was up in Sedona for a photo shoot 4 weeks ago. It was significantly cheaper in Sedona compared to Phoenix. I believe Phoenix gets it’s gas via the California pipeline. Tucson is much cheaper as it gets gas via a Texas pipeline.

    • Cem says:

      Sure there will be more* gas (for a while) but as demand drops you will pay a higher price.

      Econ 101, decline in demand? Decline in supply. More decline in supply though to make up for lost profits from decline in demand. I’m sure the shell CEO will be happy to keep prices down for you..

      Oil will be with us forever but I’ve heard this argument from my father. AV gas is far less prevalent since there is far less demand, do they pay less per gallon? No, they pay way more.

      I own a Tesla M3P but have motorcycles and don’t expect any decrease in 91. In fact my rides will only get more expensive as time goes on due to gas prices.

      • Sleeper1948 says:

        Gasoline is a natural fraction of the the refining process of oil. If you refine oil for other purposes (plastics, medicines, lubricants, etc.), you still get a fraction that is gasoline. That is basic chemistry.
        Before ICEs, it was a waste byproduct that was discarded.

        The demand may decrease, but the supply will stay the same and the price will drop.

        • El Katz says:

          Read somewhere that there has been little to no investment in new refineries due to the irrational behavior of our goobermint. No CEO is going to invest billions in a refinery only to have it declared obsolete due to government legislation before the investment is recouped.

        • Sams says:

          Gasoline is a natural fraction of the refining process og oil. Then, with cracking and other processes that fraction is modified.

          If something other than gasoline get best prices, the processes will be adjusted to get differet fractions of products. If there is money int it, the gaoline will be made into something more profitable.

      • MM says:

        But remember, your bike gets much better mileage than any car.

        EVs are great for a culture that has to have huge vehicles – but in many parts of the world folks get around just fine on two wheels. My generic 50cc scooter has a 1-gal tank and gets over 100MPG. It never costs me more than a few bucks to fill the tank.

    • Kurtismayfield says:

      Government has always picked winners and losers. Plus with what the ICE industry is doing, they are making it easier to lose.

  5. Appletrader says:

    Just got on the waitlist for Cybertruck last week. Might be waiting a while Lol guess I’ll enjoy the pump while I can

    • Gattopardo says:

      Enjoy “The Homer” when it finally arrives.

    • Duke says:

      There is a website that tracks and estimates CT orders. You can enter your RN and it will give you an estimated ETA. I ordered within the first few months. And I might get mine in early 2026!!!! Plan accordingly.

    • sufferinsucatash says:

      How much did it cost out the door? Did you do the “software upgrades” (slave mode, stop light, self drive)?


      • Appletrader says:

        $100 no customization yet.

        Homer?? I think it looks beautiful! (never owned a truck before)

        I will probably go for the cheaper standard model as I am not rich. I expect Tesla to cut costs the next few years as they exploit their fat margins over the competition. But if I can’t get the truck for under 55k I probably will pass

  6. Amar says:

    Subjective opinion here, but as a 30-something young professional all of my colleagues are striving to get an EV – and right now they all want a Tesla.

    Also, seems like the majority of new auto commercials are for EVs, not ICE vehicles.

    The times they are a changin’

    • Max Power says:

      I would agree that yes, the Teslas are still the most desirable EVs but remember that the established car makers are only on their first iteration of their mass-market EV offerings and they are learning fast.

      I would argue that the next phase of mass-market vehicles from the other car makers will be just as compelling as Tesla’s offerings. For example, having seen the video reviews of the production version of the Ram EV truck, I would much rather have it than the CyberTruck (I can’t believe I am saying that about a Chrysler!). Or check out Autogefühl’s review of the VW ID7 sedan. I’d much rather have it than the Model 3 (especially when the dual motor version will come out).

      This notion some have that the other car makers will never catch up to Tesla (at least with respect to how good their EVs are) is nonsense IMHO.

      • Ethan in NoVA says:

        The one issue is that the legacy auto companies have legacy software for their EVs. Teslas are a phone app on wheels, and they do a good job with the software. Others miss the mark.

        • Max Power says:

          True, and especially so for VW with their horrendously laggy initial generation software. However, even VW has made tremendous improvements so far and they are definitely catching up. The responsiveness of the software shown in the review I mentioned for example is night and day compared to what the ID.3 and ID.4 exhibited when they first came out.

          One of the problems with Tesla’s software is their idiotic refusal to support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

      • Amar says:

        Good point – I took a look at the Ram EV truck and it does look nice! For at least the next year or two I think Tesla will continue to have the advantage, especially given its supercharger network. However, more competition will be good and hopefully make Tesla update its designs/improve its quality and competitiveness as well.

        • Max Power says:

          Yeah, Tesla’s current dominance feeds it’s arrogance which then leads it to insist on making choices which most consumers hate. For example, not offering a HUD in the model 3/Y (which would allow Tesla to provide an alternative for the lack of a gauge cluster but without ruing the minimalistic look of the interior), not supporting Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, or equipping vehicles with yokes instead of a steering wheel (silly Elon, yokes are for planes, not cars).

  7. Flea says:

    Wolf you forgot all the people who have retired,including me not driving to work everyday.

    • IvanA says:

      Labour participation rate is on your side.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      But think of all the young people that joined the workforce while you retired.

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        …what? There’s life after me? (…and there was surely none before!…).

        may we all find a better day.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          LOL. Life never ceases to astound me?

        • phillip jeffreys says:

          They even have a sense of humor.

          I can recall endless hiring meetings I attended as the IT “guy” hearing recent graduates demand that they would not work for less than $90K. See ya! I can hire two folks for less and train them how to do the job.

          And the stories coming out of Vail, CO (other similar places; Maine, for example) of service industries in the tank because entry level folks cannnot afford the rent anywhere near such places.

          Yes, may we all find a better day. I call waking up with a pulse each morning a good day!

        • NBay says:

          Cosmology thoughts “extrapolated” to “lazy millennials”.

          When a binary thought is triggered there is no stopping it, especially complaints….people love ’em.

  8. michel says:

    This is essentially an exponential. It takes a long time to reach a braking point. Once reached, the system explodes very fast to 100%. In a few years it will increase to ~20% at reasonable speed, after that it will accelerate and then reach 100% a few years later.

    Something similar is happening with AI. Last year it passed it’s braking point. Already the training from scratch of SD dropped to 50k and something like gpt3 to less then 500k. Next year, these costs will probably more then half. Renewables passed their breaking point some years ago and are about to start their explosive growth to 100%.

    at 20% penetration, is when the system goes really wild. ICE will become like CRTs, they will quickly become essentially worthless in a few years.

    • gaston says:

      At 20% penetration….they can’t be worthless since 80% went with that option and handed their money over.

      One could also argue todays EV’s are like plasma TV’s.

      Game over will be when battery tech allows a more competitive charge time. Doesn’t need to equal it, imo, but it needs to drop. And todays EV’s will be like a GM EV1 or first Gen Leaf. ICE’s will be niche at that point (for towing vehicles) unless that battery charge time improvement coincides with big density increases

      • Wolf Richter says:

        The millions of Americans, including the 1.5 million Californians, who own EVs and drive EVs and charge EVs are just laughing about your stuff.

        • gaston says:

          Laughing about what wolf?

          Do you not think EV’s will get significantly better relaxation g current EV’s to second tier status just like any other old car.

          Current EV’s are great. But they don’t meet all needs, but will in the future. 20% penetration due to supply limits vs 80% market share due to preference. 2 different scenario ls with the same numbers

          Read what I stated again. Jeez, people are touchy on both sides of the EV-ICE subject

        • gaston says:

          typing on a phone…
          new EV’s will get significantly better, relegating current EV’s to second tier status along with ICE’s.

          We are 1-2 battery step changes from not requiring any government regulation on fuel economy because the better solution will be on the market and nobody will choose an ICE.

        • Flea says:

          Wolf read a podcast from mike Maloney ,stated people are fleeing cali because of 75% tax rate for all in purchasers,employment gas,utilities and sales taxes he left

        • Wolf Richter says:


          75%??? BS. Quit listening to this crap Mike Baloney podcast. It pollutes your brain.

        • NBay says:

          Flee, flea, flee!

      • Ryan L says:

        Aluminum Graphene batteries are the future. 3x the energy density, charge 20x faster, no runaway reactions, etc vs Lithium. Basically soon there will be vehicles that will get 1000 mile range and charge in two minutes.

    • Publius says:

      EV growth will certainly continue, and rapidly, but there will be a place for the ICE engine for a long time. RVs, for one. And I encourage people to look at the entire US map, not just urban areas and interstates. Take the Navajo reservation, for instance. Huge, huge area with very small population traveling long distances to shopping, school activities, etc. Oh, and some homes still lack electricity, let alone 200A service. Extreme case? Sure, but Alaska, Plains states, and other areas will be challenges for the EV infrastructure. So, 80% might be a more reasonable – yet optimistic and impactful – goal.

      • Arnold says:

        You can replace EV infrastructure with the Internet. And yet the Internet has taken off.

        • El Katz says:

          Arnold… in the areas described by the poster above, the internet is probably provided by satellite or 4G cellular. Haven’t seen any satellite EV charging yet. Maybe Musk is working on it as we speak?

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          ElK – well said (I’m posting now via satmodem from an off-grid rural area a mere seventy miles (as the crow flies) north of San Francisco. Local cellular service remains a joke as various rotating providers continually play hot potato with a district too low in population density to service profitably-a core aspect of the oft-quoted national ‘digital divide’…).

          may we all find a better day.

        • phillip jeffreys says:

          How far you wanna go with this?

          The Internet has been hugely vulnerable since inception.

        • Nick Kelly says:

          There is fundamental diff between transmitting power and information. The latter requires almost no power. Most new Net installs are fiber optic needing even less.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          NickK – not (in our area, at least) if the local phone district is still on cu wire, with no access to a Asia-NA fiber trunk that our local back county roads were torn up to install a decade ago…

          may we all find a better day.

      • Lune says:

        And there are also still horse and buggies in Central Park, NYC.

        If EVs get to 80% penetration, that will be way more than necessary to force a profound shift in our energy and climate situation.

        I personally can’t wait. Not just for the climate goals, but bankrupting Saudi Arabia who funded the 9/11 terrorists not to mention plenty of other badness.

      • Arnold says:

        I just watched a review of the Winnebago eRV2 all electric.

      • Sams says:

        Do also take at the map of population densinity. 80% EV may be a reasonabel, but stil low estimate.

        As Lune says, there is still horse buggies and carts around, but not many.

  9. IvanA says:

    People staying home might factor in erlectricity consumption increase.

    On another side People buy more Trucks and SUVs and drive more miles but gas consumption still decrease, we should be happy.

    Whatever, if it keeps gas prices low, buy more chiken, sorry… more EVs ;)

  10. Cas127 says:

    There is a ton to unpack in this excellent post (unfortunately, I’m pretty short on time today).

    1) People badly underestimate just how much petro-dollar geopolitics determine US foreign, military, foreign exchange, and interest rate/money printing politics. Generally speaking, the less the US (and other nations) are dependent upon foreign sources of oil…the better off they are.

    2) This post is valuable because it tracks things over *time* – highlighting inflection points caused by policy, consumer preference, and technology…there is a *ton* to be learned in these areas. We could go year by year and have a *lot* to discuss (CAFE regs, rise of SUVs, hybrid intro, fuel taxes, local content rules, etc).

    3) The only thing lacking is an international perspective…there are a few nations that have seen much, much flatter oil use since as early as about 2000 (been a few yrs since I checked but pretty sure about Japan, Germany, and a handful of others…the why/how of those countries is important info. On the other hand, the domestic consumption of oil by *oil producers* has soared to a surprising degree (which of course plays a big role intl oil prices, supply, macro policy, etc.).

    Important topic and one that should be revisited periodically, in detail.

    Thanks, Wolf.

  11. josap says:

    How are States dealing with the lower gas tax collections?

    The roads still need to be maintained and built. The lights need to stay on. The signal systems need to work.

    • Appletrader says:

      Florida is trying to pass a tax on EV purchases, unfortunately. Might get stopped in the house

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        Apple – won’t stop road degradation, though…

        Think, going forward, we will see highway maintenance fund taxes being shifted more and more to annual DMV registration fees as revenue from gasoline sales flatline/decline…

        may we all find a better day.

      • sufferinsucatash says:

        Lol, I could see my NC House passing that. NC’s House is like anti everything you can think of.

    • Nissanfan says:

      State and local taxes are also added to electricity in US, so I would imagine that makes some difference up. Electric cars also have a more expensive annual license plate renewal. For example in Illinois: Electric Car = $251, Regular Passenger car = $151. I don’t know, whether that is enough to make up a difference or not though.

      • DawnsEarlyLight says:

        Yes, Illinois, and most other states (including California), charge an extra tax on EV and Hybrid registrations, to help make up the loss of the fuel tax.

        • El Katz says:

          OR was fiddling with a mileage tax for all vehicles. According to some pundits, the EV’s, due to their heavier weight, tax the roads more than a comparable size ICE vehicle. Dunno if it’s true, but it makes sense.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      IN CA, the DMV charges an extra fee for EVs.

    • Deep Dive says:

      Great article wolf.

      And No Josap we don’t need any new roads to be built. We have overbuilt all our infrastructure for every city in this country via endless sprawl and now all the cities are going broke for it.

      We need to focus on maintenance only at this point.

      We’re so overbuilt, that cities and states can’t pay for their own maintenance anymore so everything becomes “F and D rated” and the Fed has to step in and pass a massive infrastructure BAILOUT.

      Since 08’ they have been moving huge portions of the US General fund over to the highway fund to make up for lower gas tax revenue. It’s great seeing additional gas tax destruction. Hopefully this will lead to the final end of our ‘past its prime’ ridiculous subsidized highway expansion era. (Looking at you Katy Freeway In Houston with 28 lanes.)

      Also one can only laugh all the petrol head commenters who love their ICE cars and critique EV’s but at the same time love using the subsidized Freeway system that big oil made sure we were forced to use instead of efficient steel on steel trains.

      Had to get that one off the chest.

      • Toby says:

        True. “Not just bikes” has an excelent 3-parts series on youtube about how strucural broke almost every suburban development is.

        (In his Strong Towns playlist: The Truth about American Cities, How Suburban Development Makes American Cities Poorer & Why American Cities are Broke – The Growth Ponzi Scheme)

      • Mitry says:

        Deep Dive, are you saying there’s no point in funding major roads? Or that roads are wasted on freight?

  12. Nissanfan says:

    I remember how people used to talk about “Who Killed the Electric Car?” documentary and how oil companies in cahoots with the government would never allow electric car to succeed. Also, how electric car made by GM – EV1 was actually quite a hit among customers (talk about self sabotage,)…

    Since that was a case then, I would think oil companies would actually hold a tight grip (if not tighter) and try to do it again…

    Yet it seems like Oil companies don’t seem concerned one bit about their future, so where it the catch?

    • josap says:

      Just a guess, the oil companies can just charge more. Also refined gas can now be exported, which wasn’t the case until 2016.

    • Cem says:

      They’ll just increase the price of a gallon.

      You think they’re going to take the hit to profits? Hell. No.

      • gaston says:

        How do you increase the price of something sold on an open market?

        You don’t understand the market from crude to refiner to actual pumping station.

        Refiners can close refineries (and they have) but that market bump is short lived if the demand falls to realign with supply.
        Refinery turn down capacity is also limited

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Oil companies are very much concerned. In the US, they stopped building refineries, and they’re using existing refineries to export. California refineries are big exporters of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel to mostly Latin America. The Gulf Coast is lined with refineries that export petroleum products. It’s a huge business.

      In addition, the US has the largest petrochemical industry in the world, much of it for exports as well. Huge customer for oil producers.

      • INSdude says:

        But according to many posters here, Biden does not “allow” them to build refineries, and they blame him for high gas prices!

        • gaston says:

          Refiners sell on an open market.

          Not all refineries are the same with regards to crude supply, crude processing ability, location, and cost.

          Current regulatory makes upgrading some refineries impossible or not cost efficient. Others can be.

          New refineries have a ton of regulatory hurdles which make it nearly impossible.

          So refineries can choose to stop building refineries but part of the reasoning is the regulatory hurdles which make it too expensive or outright impossible.

    • Flea says:

      Nissan fan I still haven’t seen any military electric tanks,planes or ships . Just saying

      • Arnold says:

        The electric powered drones are being used by the militaries in Ukraine quite effectively by both sides.

    • El Katz says:

      The EV-1, as well as some of the other early hydrogen and electric vehicles, were selectively placed with consumers. One brand made sure that some went to celebrities so they could talk up the product. Naturally, those people “loved” those vehicles because they were predisposed to do so.

      My old alma mater was actually sued by some people when their lease expired on their experimental car which were then crushed. They wanted them back. We said no because there was no infrastructure to support the maintenance and repair outside of a small geographic area.

  13. josap says:

    Phoenix Az 85021

    $4.89 for regular at the cheap station near me. Down the road at bit it’s $4.99.

    $5.31 for mid-grade and $5.59 for premium.
    Per Gas Buddy.

    • josap says:

      After doing a quick search on Gas Buddy, most of the State of Az has gas at $3.50 gal. No clue why it’s so high in Phx.

      • El Katz says:

        Because they can. The *story* is that it’s due to air quality, reliance on the CA refineries which are “down for maintenance”, and the switch to summer blend.

        Costco is almost $5 a gallon….. for regular.

  14. Kracow says:

    Once gas hits 40 a gallon I may be tempted to sell an exotic but, who knows.

  15. curiouscat says:

    What I don’t get about EV is all the folks who live in multi-unit rental properties. EV works great if I can charge it in my garage or even in my driveway. How are all those folks living in garden apartments and condos to be accommodated? Got a way to go to reach those folks.

    • josap says:

      A work around for condos might be charging units under the pavement of parking spaces. Meters for each space billed to the owner/renter.

      If there is a profit in it, someone will figure out how to get it done.

    • Seba says:

      I live in an apartment building and the number of EVs in our underground has grown by multiples over just a few years, we do not have a single charger down there. What we do have is those fast charging stations at almost every shopping mall, quite a few plazas, some larger city parks, some grocery stores, I’m also seeing some gas stations with them as well now. So I guess people are going to those places and charging their vehicle while shopping or having coffee or whatever. While not ideal it seems to work well enough for people right now that they’re buying EVs. I’m not quite ready to make the leap myself yet, western Canada is very spread out and I do travel out there, I get a bit of anxiety thinking about running low on juice in the middle of nowhere just as I do with gas to be fair, but that might change in time as well, I’ve seen charging stations in communities of maybe a few hundred people hours away from the nearest small city way up north in the Yukon and once those are everywhere it will be easier to consider. A few years ago when those stations weren’t around I ran into a man up north in the Yukon that drove his Tesla up there from San Diego and was on his way to the arctic ocean (I think by Inuvik), he said he had to find welding shops in some places to charge.

    • Escierto says:

      My ex-wife lives in the same condo complex as I do. She had a charger installed in her parking space. No problem. The anti-EV people are constantly dreaming up obstacles that are easily surmounted. I am sure the people using whale oil in the 1800s thought petroleum was just a fad.

      • gaston says:

        there are some actual challenges retrofitting charging at scale…its a LOT of power.

        But, people that say that as a hurdle to EV’s ignore the demand side. Demand for charging and selling electricity will only grow. Businesses will find a way to meet that demand and attract customers over their competition.

        • El Katz says:

          Automotive news claims that the single biggest obstacle to universal adoption of EV’s is the ability of people living in multi-family dwellings to access charging. Something like 75% cite that as a reason for not choosing an EV. Similar data also appeared in some construction industry rags.

          Re: on street parking space charging: There is no universal location for the charging ports. Some are in the front, some in the rear, some on the left and others on the right. Then there’s the issue of the cord security. There’s photos of cars parked on sidewalks so their cord, which is too short, can reach the port.

          There’s lots of work to do….. and it will take time.

    • Lune says:

      I dunno. How do people in those apartments fuel their ICE vehicles without having a gas drum buried in their backyard? Having to fill your car outside of the home doesn’t seem to be a problem for ICE owners…

      Yes, charging at home is great, but not having that only makes EVs *equal* to ICE in convenience. Lots of offices now have chargers so people can charge while they’re working. Same with malls, restaurants, etc.

      While it still takes longer to charge than to fill up gas, it’s not that much more inconvenient, and with more chargers going up everywhere everyday (chargers are much easier to put up than heavily regulated gas stations), it’ll soon be *more* convenient.

  16. tannin says:

    Electricity for ev’s will need to be taxed; suggest that all fast charging systems, both at home and commercial, will incorporate a tax per watt (?) ‘pumped’ within a few years. An alternative method would be to have the ev’s electronically signal…to the govt…when they are refueling and how much ‘juice’ they took……..easily done I’d guess….with huge fines for those who tamper with the electronics to cheat. Currently ( good pun that ) ev’s are getting a free ride……
    On a side issue, not really related to discussion, thinking of all that super cheap Russian oil flowing to China and India……that should help dampen inflation in those countries, and, more subtly and slowly, in the U.S…..which would be helpful.
    And finally, the announced intent of virtually all car mfrs to be out of ice engines by x date, is, a really bad idea, imo. That means that little money will be spent from here on to develop more efficient ice engines, so there will be little improvement from here on………who knows how much more efficient ice engines, and whole propulsion systems can be, and what alternatives they might offer for at least a number of years as we struggle to wean ourselves off carbon fuels.

  17. JeffD says:

    I’ve been staying away from EVs waiting for battery density to improve, but I have to admit, when the Tesla price dropped below $40K, and then add in the rebates, I recently asked my wife how she would feel about replacing her car with a Tesla. If she would have said yes, we would have gone into the showroom for a deeper discussion, but my wife doesn’t like EV, period. If battery density improves, and prices are near today (plus rebates), I would probably go to the showroom alone, and have a discussion about replacing *my* car.

    • JeffD says:

      PS Here is the two part reasoning that changed my opinion on potentially buying a Tesla: (1) Living in California, anyone here will soon be *forced* into buying an EV (as soon as 2026!) so I have to either move on, or move out of the state and (2) new and used car prices are both astronomical at the moment, and likely to just move higher, while *new* Teslas are now cheaper than most new and used cars out there, with rebates. While I would rather wait for the better battery energy density in the future, it also just seems rational to make the move sooner rather than later with the extreme monetary incentives in place. For whatever reason (false scarcity?), the car “supply chain problem” seems permanently stuck with no real effort by the car companies to fix it, and I don’t want to be caught in an even worse situation later.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        “*forced* into buying an EV (as soon as 2026!)”

        My understanding is:

        1. 2035 not 2026

        2. the sale of new ICE vehicles will be banned in 2035. You can still buy a used ICE vehicle after 2035. Or you can buy a new ICE vehicle in 2034 and drive it for 20 years, at which point you can probably just get a subscription to an autonomous vehicle service, and the thing will pick you up whenever you need a ride.

        • JeffD says:

          “The new regulation accelerates requirements that automakers deliver an increasing number of zero-emission light-duty vehicles each year beginning in model year 2026 (35% of all vehicles).”

          Being a former manager in the business, how does that mandate play out? I would assume that non-EVs would be priced higher in order to move the EV inventory rather than pricing the EVs lower, hence my interpretation, “forced”.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          But EV prices are dropping because EVs cost less to build in large volume than ICE vehicles, proven by Tesla’s profit margins in 2022, which were the fattest of any of the major automakers. That’s in part of how the battle will be carried out: production costs. The low-cost producers win — I learned that in B-school decades ago, and it has proven to be true over the long term.

        • JeffD says:

          PS If the non-Tesla dealer strategy is to sell less vehicles for years in anticipation of that changeover in the future, then Tesla is going to eat their lunch by ramping up production and winning all the market share. I really don’t get how “supply chain issues” can go on for *two years*, for all the major car manufacturers, unless there is some sort of false scarcity at play to sell more profitable high end vehicles. That is the only rational reason I can see for the current “issues”, and if that is what is happening, it is going to backfire in a big way. Hell, they could have shifted supply chains to Mexico or Canada starting two years ago, and have parts by now.

        • john overington says:

          This subscription concept is something most people simply don’t understand. Autonomous cars will be a huge deflationary force and destroy much of the legacy car manufacturers along with body shops, road sign makers, emergency medical workers, police, and on through the economy. Why own a car when you call up whatever you need? Along with digital currency, the government finally owns you.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          The idea is this: if you need a car for one hour per day, why own it for 24 hours? It just sits for 23 hours, and eats your money as it depreciates unused.

        • DawnsEarlyLight says:

          “..at which point you can probably just get a subscription to an autonomous vehicle service, and the thing will pick you up whenever you need a ride.”

          Now that sounds cool!

        • sufferinsucatash says:

          Ok that just scares me.

          What’s stopping the powers that be from making us all ride the autonomous bus to work?

          I said no to the bus after high school!

      • JeffD says:

        Thanks. As a former general manager at a dealership, your insights are invaluable. Given where EV sales are today in California, do you think that *all* dealers will be able to sell 35% of *their* specific light vehicle inventory as EVs in 2026?

        • Wolf Richter says:

          So Tesla doesn’t have dealers. And Tesla is the giant here.

          Other automakers have put about 40 EV models on the market. But many of them are built in very small volumes still. It seems there is a lot of demand for those non-Tesla models, but insufficient supply. They’re all years behind Tesla. This is really infuriating for me. They just dilly-dallied around for years. Ford has a couple of good EVs out, but can only produce a trickle. VW has some models and a new one coming, but it won’t hit mass volume for a while. GM is ending its old Bolt, and it has essentially nothing today. Toyota has essentially nothing. Etc. etc. The auto industry has been stupid about this. It will take them years to get their mass-production up and running. This idiocy in the industry has been painful for me to watch. They just handed Tesla the market. And it took Tesla 10 years to get to high-volume production.

          So if they can get production up, they can get the sales.

        • JeffD says:


    • The Falcon says:

      Jeff I am in also in SoCal and have been waiting as well but for me the wait is about over as pre-owned Model 3s are now trading below $30K on the low end and I have about 700 to choose from within 1.5 hours from my house.

      • JeffD says:

        Yeah. The rebate deals in California are even *better* for used (additional $5500 – $9500 for some people), but not knowing how the previous owner treated the battery is a big deal for me when I buy. I don’t want to start out with 20% less maximum energy capacity because the previous owner wasn’t more careful.

        • The Falcon says:

          I think they have new software where you can run a battery health diagnostic on the spot. I think you can also schedule a mobile tech to check the battery health. I will do either or both before buying.

          All my Tesla owning buddies report most degradation is within the first year or two and it’s not significant. I think there is some data out there on some crazy high mileage Model 3s (like 200K) where there is only about 10-15% degradation. Usable battery life estimates of 300K+ miles.

  18. gaston says:

    The media focus is always on EV’s.
    Plug-in hybrids will be the real driver of demand destruction. They are also a solution that should be promoted as the actual solution until there is a shift change in battery tech.

    Plug-In Hybrid…
    Avg US commuter distance: 41 miles…9,500 miles yr. Achievable almost 100% electric on many plug-in hybrids
    Average US miles driven per year: 15,000…so 5,500 on gasoline (although not 100% true).

    Assuming the above, over 60% of the “value” of an EV, using only about 25% of the resources for a battery. No downsides, no range issues, no charging concerns as the battery is smaller.
    The battery may degrade faster but its cheaper to replace.

    Take 1 EV battery…produce 4 cheaper plug-in hybrids instead.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Plug-in hybrids are the worst of both worlds: complex ICE plus fairly big and heavy battery. They’ve been around for years, and people aren’t charging them at home, they’re just carting around the heavy battery. If you commute just “41 miles,” — to use your number — you can have simple EV with a small battery and dispense with the complexities of also having an ICE on board.

      Either plain hybrid with small battery or EV without ICE or ICE without EV drive components.

      • gaston says:

        But a “simple EV with a small battery” doesn’t exist for a 1 car situation where people still need to travel those non-commuter miles (i.e you need range and charging speed which even top tier EV’s aren’t great…at least charging speed).

        I can’t really make the argument about hybrid vs plug-in if people don’t plug them in, so yeah I can kinda agree with you there.

        And data doesn’t show ICE complexity as an actual reliability deterrent. Data actually shows the opposite at this time so I don’t think people should worry about the “complexity” of the ICE component in what is a very complex overall product.

        Btw – love your site

        • gaston says:

          Just to clarify, my 41 miles was just off a google search. I’ll concede it seems to range from 30-mid40 depending on source.

          Not anti-EV, I just don’t think the battery tech is there…so great niche product. Hybrids and plug-ins…basically meets any needs sans pure hatred of fossil fuel use

      • Publius says:

        Not being anti-EV, but I don’t get the anti-PHEV sentiment. I’ve seen the “complexity” argument, but how does Toyota – the EV straggler and hybrid leader – land on or near the top of the reliability charts? ICE engines might be complicated, but manufacturers have a lot of experience making them. And PHEVs can be a transitional vehicle for the hesitant, those without ready access to charging. The perfect shouldn’t be the enemy of the good.

        • Prof. Emeritus says:

          Toyota was (past tense!) a hybrid-leader, but their philosophy is against plug-in charging and lithium batteries, they are gambling on hydrogen fuel-cell and promoting their old HSD tech in the transition time. In fact if you look up many hybrid Toyotas still use NiMh batteries, which is like going back 20 years.
          Toyota’s original solution was indeed smart and reliable, but once you start increasing battery size to achieve longer range it becomes very uncompetitive. Toyota’s reliability in general is attributed to their use of outdated (some call it proven) technology – not just in the drivetrain, but all around the car. Also, most Prius drivers don’t want to race Ferraris at the red light, so the typical Toyota owner’s driving style should help as well.

      • Max Power says:

        I respectfully disagree. Yes, PHEVs have been around for years but they have typically had measly electric-only range.

        The game changer is the fact that in the past couple of years there have been a way more models that get close to that 40 miles range on electric-only driving which covers the vast majority of daily driving.

        • Publius says:

          Until recently, I agree, but current Prius and RAV PHEV range is 40+. I love the idea of an EV drivetrain with an ICE backup generator, but as the Volt and i3 have been killed, I guess I was in the minority.

      • Sams says:

        I do think that “people are not charging their PIHEV at home” is depending on your whereabout. Walking home from work late in the evening I see most parked PIHEV’s plugged in charging.

  19. Neel Kash & Kari says:

    How are EV’s getting a free ride exactly? Twenty-four states now impose special fees on EVs meant to make up for the fact EVs don’t pay gas taxes (despite the fact they often pay local taxes on electricity). The average state EV fee of $128 per year is more than twice what someone driving an efficient gasoline car pays annually in state gas taxes.

    • El Katz says:

      Ummm.. not to bust your bubble, but state gas tax, alone, in CA is $.53.9 so it would take about 237 gallons or 12 fillups @ 20 gallons each, to reach parity only on fuel taxes. And let’s not forget Federal taxes on gasoline that an EV pays…. zero. 30 MPG @ 9K miles per year average, is 300 gallons.

      And electricity taxes do not go into the road fund. Your comparison is apples and turnips.

      EV’s are heavier so the wear on the roads is more severe than an ICE vehicle.

      Not an EV hater…. just don’t think they’re ready for prime time as yet. If you’re a cliff dweller in a city, great. For me? Not so much.

    • gaston says:

      Well as of now, the $128/yr fee takes a long time to clawback the tax incentive EV’s purchasers received. Funny people even discuss gas tax equivalents when the direct tax subsidies exist.

      So I’d say they are given a free ride and then some, but that will never last. I’m sure the government will come up with a way to get the same or more tax revenue as the fleet changes over. Death and taxes

  20. Remy says:

    The die has been cast. There is no going back to ICE. The amount of leapfrogging in battery tech in such a short amount of time tells all. The Electric Viking on Youtube has a lot of great insight on the industry.

    Oil should be used for things better than lighting on fire.

    • max says:

      Warren Buffett … doesn’t plan on taking full control of Occidental Petroleum, an oil giant where it has amassed a stake north of 20%.
      In August last year, Berkshire received regulatory approval to purchase as much as a 50% stake. Since then, Buffett has been steadily adding to his bet, including this year, boosting the conglomerate’s stake in the Houston-based energy producer to 23.5%.

  21. Not Sure says:

    So wait… Gasoline usage and EV growth are being correlated to all miles driven, “including those powered by diesel.”

    I read this over and over again, and I’m still missing something here. Diesel powered vehicles are a big chunk of that milage. So wouldn’t we expect total vehicle miles to be up in 2022 when the trucking industry has been unprecedentedly busy restocking the country and feeding record e-commerce sales?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Nope. Got the wrong year. The big year for trucking was in 2021. By early/mid 2022, demand for goods (transported by trucks) had started fading. You can see that in all the data. And we discussed this here a lot. For example, The Cass Freight Index dropped 4% year-over-year and is down 9% from the peak in August 2021. In Dec 2022, the index was already down 4% from Dec 2021. You can also see that in the mileage rates and other data. The trucking boom was over by 2022, and miles driven by diesel trucks likely declined from 2021.

  22. Michael Engel says:

    It’s all about power. In the 1980’s horsepower ranged between 100 and 140 hp. Today between 240 and 340 hp.
    If Detroit goes halfway fuel consumption and prices will fall significantly.
    Deflate the power bubble. Keep it simple. Detroit is doing all kind of experiments on us, charging us.

    • Prof. Emeritus says:

      With all due respect, the peak power has little to do with the fuel consumption. When accelerating at a given rate both a 300 hp and 100 hp engine will use the same power. F = m*a and so forth, but the takeaway is that for normal driving you may only require 20 or 30 horsepower and you’ll only use the rest when you go pedal to the metal.
      Plus the late 70s and 80s is a bit selective pick, as the power figures went down massively after the stricter emission standards were introduced in 1972. 200-300 hp cars were quite normal in the late 60s. Nowadays such figures are achieved by turbocharging and direct injection which may increase peak power, but require little displacement and very few cylinders.

      • Michael Engel says:

        Prof Emeritus. m of F-150 isn’t equal to m of Corolla-Crossover. Besides they don’t have to have the same acceleration.
        If normal driving require only 20/30 hp the 300 hp do nothing all day.
        Most Porsche are driven by old dentists. Dentist cannot compete with
        Prairie Rider.

    • Prairie Rider says:

      Yeah, It’s all about power. You want power? I know I do. Thunder, all 209 kg fully fueled up, puts 175 smart, computer controlled horsepower between one’s legs. Very nice. Yes, very nice indeed.

      The benchmark now for top-end sport bikes is @ 200 kg mass & at least 200 hp. Pretty amazing, eh?

      Will electric motorbikes approach these numbers? Any Wolf Street readers out there have an electric motorbike? I’m curious to how they ride and perform.

      Zero Motorcycles out of California and Polaris out of Minnesota have teamed up to produce, in Huntsville, Alabama, the Ranger XP Kinetic electric powered ATV. “The company’s new lithium ionpowered rechargeable sideby-side.” The “Premium” is $25k. The “Ultimate” is $30k.

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        DanRo – I keep following lap times for ‘x’ bikes at the IOM TT (now, possibly subject to end given insurance issues with on-the-road racing in N. Ireland and Eire), and MotoGP ‘E’ for moto-market adoption. Not there, yet, but surely raceable…mass-marketable (and a small market, at that)? Remains to be seen.

        may we all find a better day.

        • Prairie Rider says:

          91B20 1stCav (AUS),

          Thanks for the report on ‘x’ bikes.

          One thing I’m sure of, when a performance electric motorbike is at a stop light, and the light turns green, the rider better be leaning forward. The instant torque, and near silent application of power will be an adrenaline jolt, no doubt.

          A question I pondered today while slowing down on the highway to let a truck merge in front of me; and downshifting to launch a lane-change and accelerate by the truck, is how will an E-bike do at this the same thing? Accelerating from speed versus accelerating from a stop, or a very slow speed, are two different things.

          MotoGP are in LeMans now, and anyone who’s interested should see the camera shots of the bikes braking before cornering. It is stunning. I’ll have to check out some E-bike race coverage to see what they can do, and compare the two technologies. Thanks again on the heads up.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Electric vehicles with regenerative braking (all EVs and hybrids have it, I assume ebikes do too) use the electric motor to charge the battery during braking, as the motor turns into a generator and the flow of electricity is reversed. This starts when you let off the gas, and resistance progressively gets more pronounced when you step on the brake. A 200hp electric motor can provide a lot of braking power. Probably enough to lock up the rear wheel on a bike, and so I assume this is all nicely regulated with with software.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          Wolf/DanRo – i’m not up on regen-braking for production e-motos, but for racing-spec at the ‘x’ or MotoGP level it’s still hydraulics, with carbon/carbon at the top end (Ducati being, essentially, Motogp-e’s spec bike… I’m supposing regen brakes currently carry too much of an unsprung weight penalty for the suspension/chassis calculus, and, at this point in time, the competition (race length) is designed for available battery lives, anyway. (Looking forward to e-motos entry to the World Endurance (24hr racing) Championship…).

          may we all find a better day

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Oh, don’t get me wrong. Regenerative braking systems are ALWAYS combined with regular disk brakes. ALWAYS.

          Also the unsprung weight isn’t an issue because there is no additional equipment on the wheel. When you take your hand off the gas, the electric motor loses power, and then the rear wheel, via the chain, DRIVES the electric motor which then turns into a generator, which provides the resistance. The regulator determines how much resistance the motor will provide, depending on how hard you push on the brake. To provide higher resistance, the generator will generate more electricity to charge the battery.

          As you drive (so I’m talking about cars here because I have no experience riding modern motorbikes), you cannot tell the difference. It’s all software-driven. You get off the gas, and it feels like an engine brake. And then you step on the brake, and it feels like you’re braking, but in fact, the motor is just charging up the battery. At some point when you need to brake harder than the motor’s maximum resistance, the disk brakes are activated.

          Obviously, on a motorcycle, regen-braking only brakes the rear wheel (via the chain). The front wheel, where much of the hard braking takes place due to the weight transfer, will have to make do with huge disk brakes, and that energy dissipates as waste heat instead of being recaptured to charge the battery.

        • Prairie Rider says:

          Wow. I just checked out the 2023 Ducati MotoE prototype machine, and it is cutting edge.

          225 kg total weight & 110 kg of that is battery. 18kWh capacity and a 20kW charging socket.

          It has a 5 kg & 99% efficient inverter.

          Motor weighs 21 kg and spins up to 18,000 rpm. Has 150 hp & 140 Nm torque (103 ft-lb). My V4 1,077 cc ICE has 121 Nm.

          Top speed recorded on one is 275 km/h or 171 mph.

          That is one hell of a machine! Yeah, I think I need to test drive one.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          Wolf – I don’t take it wrong, at all-as you infer, the vehicle dynamic design demands for Motos vs. autos (single-track and banking vs dual-track and non-banking chassis and huge differences in tire contact patch area just for starters) are large and and as different to each other as either are to that of an aircraft. Rear brakes on roadracing Motos of all sorts are currently quite small and relatively underpowered, used primarily for vehicle trim in cornering rather than any actual stopping ability as injudicious use can easily break traction and result in a ‘moment’ at best and an off at worst. Not saying rear Regen won’t be developed, but for competition use probably not for awhile, and will, depending on an evolving rulebook, probably come out of the Endurance Championship…

          Thanks much for indulging me, here. As always, I’m fine with my prose disappearing if you find it too off-piste or less-than-deathless!

          may we all find a better day.

        • gaston says:

          E-regen will be much more precise than hydraulic and can be tuned easily for application.
          Very similar to abs, but the frequency modulation on a motor is far far better

        • Prairie Rider says:

          At this weekend’s races in LeMans:

          Qualifying times for the Ducati MotoE bikes was 101 seconds per lap.
          Qually for the ICE MotoGP bikes was 91 seconds per lap.

  23. TG says:

    Wolf, I’ll push back a bit on the issue with the modern hybrids, especially some of the newer powertrains from BMW and Jeep: yes, I agree they are obviously more complex, but they’re a great gateway drug: alleviates range anxiety issues.

    25-40 miles all electric with none of the (perceived) downside of owning a pure electric EV seems to be the sweet spot for a lot of people.

    The 4Xe powertrain in the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee have proven to be extremely popular, along with the BMW X5 and 3 series. In fact, IIRC, the BMW 330e has become the best selling variant of the 3 series in the US.

    • Ltlftc says:

      The Volt was ahead of it’s time by a decade or two. The learning hurdle is still there sadly.

  24. Prof. Emeritus says:

    Exxon had to close it’s Norway refinery in 2021 as the fuel consumption in the Nordic countries started to drop at such a fast pace that it was no longer worth producing locally.
    However I think it’s important to note that in most economies that have been paying a lot of attention to fuel economy (Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, etc.) there usually was a 15-20 year plateu period when the driving habits and increasing vehicle size (let’s call the sum of these welfare-automobilism) sort of offset the gains in fuel efficiency. The US is only at the beginning of this journey.
    So all-in-all I’m with Václav Smil on this: the 4th energy transition – from oil to electricity – won’t be a quick one: it’s going to take at least 2-3 decades until the effects can be felt globally, until then the drop in fuel consumption will be 1-2%/year at most (adjusted for economic crisis and whatnot).

  25. Paul says:

    Interesting thing about the EV revolution, if gasoline demand actually drops it will do nothing to reduce the demand for oil unless we find a way to reduce the demand for the other products that come out of a barrel of oil.
    For example all heavy equipment and trucks run on diesel fuel, no reasonable expectation of them being able to run on a battery anytime in the foreseeable future. So we will still drill and produce just as much oil because it’s needed for other products so the gasoline will become cheap and plentiful because when a barrel of oil is refined gasoline is a byproduct whether we want it or not.

    • Prof. Emeritus says:

      Yes – and also no.
      The theory is correct, but most of the world’s remaining oil reserves are heavy crudes that – as the name suggests – yield far less light fraction such as gasoline. The stuff Venezula sits on is classified as extra-heavy and Canadian tar sands are not even fluid, you cannot refine much gasoline out of that.
      But if we’d end up with plenty of light fraction somehow we can use the price, biofuels and petrochemical processes (GTL, steam cracking) to balance out the equation.

    • Lune says:

      Actually diesel demand is likely to fall faster than gas. Tesla is releasing it’s truck, and Rivian’s first contract was with Amazon to supply delivery vehicles. Transportation vehicles have much higher mileage per year than passenger vehicles, so the economics of EVs is even more compelling. They’re just waiting for battery tech to give them enough range and you’ll see them switch over faster than consumers.

      EVs make even more sense for heavy equipment like construction. No range anxiety (they ain’t going anywhere) and they often need tons of low speed torque, which electric motors do much better with.

      Bottomline is that if anything EVs will probably make a faster dent in the industrial and transportation markets than we’re seeing in passenger markets.

      • JeffD says:

        Battery Energy Density is *vital* for hauling heavy loads. We are not even close to what is needed for long haul heavy freight commercial transportation needs. It’s not hard to find in-depth coverage on this.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Lots of heavy truck models already out there globally, from concrete mixers to semi-trucks for regional use between cities. Long-haul trucks work fine, but the special chargers they will need aren’t there yet; in the EU, the range is configured to allow the driver the maximum time to drive before they’re required to take a break, at which time the truck can be recharged.

          People are making up all kinds of non-existing roadblocks to EVs. Just look at what the big truck-makers are doing. They don’t care about what you think doesn’t work. They’re doing it.

  26. Desert Dweller says:

    I leased a 2017 Chevy Malibu hybrid my results were 42 to 44 mpg in all driving – mixed, around town and highway. If the lease buyout wasn’t so high, I would have bought out the lease. Looking back, I miss that car every time I fill up.

  27. Herpderp says:

    Lifetime cost of ownerships for EVs is significantly lower than a ICE, even once subsidies are removed, that will only continue to widen as lithium continues its year 10-8% price reduction. ICE cars wont be able to fight these economics much longer regardless of government mandates.

  28. Bobber says:

    If you think people get grumpy about EV’s, watch what happens when their cheeseburgers are transitioned out.

  29. fred flintstone says:

    So interesting. Considering the US is sitting on very cheap electricity from Thorium while India and China are going for it gotta figure that this trend will keep rolling. What all those dudes do with pipelines etc who knows.
    The technology for storage appears to be the limitation but some folks probably told Henry Ford that going over 12 horsepower was a dream.

  30. Nick Kelly says:

    I’m a bit surprised more is not heard of the slow but methodical EV elephant: VW
    VW group changes places back and forth with Toyo as largest car maker. Unlike Toyo it has committed to EVs.

    VW has just announced the world’s largest EV battery plant to be built in Ontario, Canada. It will be the size of 350 football fields and produce a million batteries per year.
    Whether VW is building the plant or whether Canada and Ontario are building it for VW, with about 13 billion in subsidies, is debatable but it is going ahead.

  31. SpencerG says:

    Nope. Not buying this argument Wolf. Nice try but it is little more than wishful thinking at this point.

    The EIA puts out a very nice table that shows gasoline supplied broken down weekly. What you see is that gasoline consumption in 2022 was HIGHER than in 2021 for the month of January (and almost every week in February) by about half a billion barrels barrels a week… but lower by almost half a billion barrels starting in the last week of March 2022. This continued right through the end of the year and into 2023.


    That kind of rapid drop in consumption didn’t happen because Tesla had a great first quarter in 2022… and because the EIA data is provided weekly we can pinpoint when the drop occurred… about three weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine when gasoline prices spiked to the moon.

    Obviously EVs will eventually have a meaningful impact on gasoline consumption (if they do truly take off). But we are not there yet.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      This is utter BS. You’re ignoring the plunge in gasoline consumption in early 2021, on renewed covid fears, when COMMUTING FELL OFF.

      Early 2021 (black in the chart below) was when a renewed covid outbreak caused commuting to drop off. Your stupid-ass theory completely ignores that base drop-off in early 2021, which caused early 2022 (red) to be higher than 2021, even though early 2022 was lower than prior years.

      So when commuting fell off in early 2021, it created this low point in consumption in early 2021 that was below pre-covid years. This covid-related low in early 2021 caused early 2022 to be higher than early 2021 (due to the “base effect”) though early 2022 was actually BELOW PRIOR YEARS.

      Red = 2022, black = 2021. Plus the prior 4 years minus 2020.

      In addition, the weekly data are very rough estimates, and EIA says so, which is why they jump up and down from week to week. The annual data, which I used and which is released in May, is far more accurate, as per EIA.

  32. Duke says:

    Solar and wind and battery storage are growing and cheaper that fossil fuels in many applications. That will only become increasingly so. Tesla charger’s have 99%+ uptime. Chargers can be installed on the streets. UK has some nifty ones that descend from power poles. Nobody told Tesla about your scarce material issues I guess… They have a roadmap to reduce production costs by 50%. The California grid is more than 50% non carbon energy. This trend away from fossil will only continue.

  33. Sean says:

    Wolf comments on Inflation: “If a company borrows money at 4.5%, as many companies can, and it can raise its prices by 6% or 12% or whatever, they’re still getting free money in their view (below the rate of their price increases).”

    Wolf, you need to credit me. I brought this topic up many months ago while you were still BUSY praising Fed for raising rates . I repeated again — When Fed’s rate is below CPI, we are still having Negative Interest Rate, and hence Fed is still stimulating the economy!

    And when Business/Manufacturer can borrow at 5% and turn around raising price 7%, they would EXPAND business because they could resell at higher profit margin!

    Not sure why it took you so long to get to my point, but I am glad you Wolfe finally get it.

    So STOP your praise of Fed Powell, and start bashing him again please. He is still stimulating the economy with Real Negative Rate!

  34. Ist cousin Bubba says:

    Love the article and comments. Got me wondering how to convert my home, a 37 foot, Fleetwood, V10 gasoline engine into an EV? Any suggestions?

  35. Not Sure says:

    I really hope Wolfstreet is still up and going strong in 10 years for all kinds of reasons (entertainment, education, high-quality comments, etc.). But one really good reason is that I will want to come back and reviee how well or poorly some of these EV articles and comments have aged, my own comments included.

    Will we still be waiting for Tesla to finally release their semi-truck into full production, or will the interstates be packed with them? Will EVs be the dominant form of transportation, or will we have hit serious limitations in electrical infrastructure buildout?

    I tend to think that a lot of EV optimist commenters here are on the right track, but have woefully miscalculated the scale of the transition and the time/effort/resources needed to fully electrify. Then again, the last few years have shown my crystal ball to be of questionable reliability. Anyway around it, I sure hope Wolf keeps this thing running well into the future. I will happily admit my error if I’m wrong, but there’s also nothing like a good decade+ long “told you so!”

    • Wolf Richter says:

      My own articles 10 years ago (one or two articles) that were skeptical of EVs as a mass-produced vehicle in the future didn’t age well at all, LOL.

  36. jon says:

    I have been driving EVs for last 8 years and didn’t pay a penny for gas or electricity or any maintenance other than new tires.

    I owned all EVs: tesla Chevy Hyundai and they all are good.
    Some one said Teslas are desirable. They are desirable by uber drivers, door dash drivers and are good cars.

    Thanks to Musk ( Must didnt start Tesla he bought it ) for making EVs popular.

    • gaston says:

      How do you get out paying for electricity?
      3 (or more) care in 8 years?

      • jon says:

        Car companies usually give free charging via public networks
        My work place has free charging anyway
        also, super off peak hours electricity charges are pretty cheap per CA standards.

        Yes, 4 cars in 8 years.. some leased, some owned.

  37. MM says:

    Regarding used EVs:

    I’ve never considered myself wealthy enough to purchase a new vehicle; all my cars were purchased with at least a few years and ~50k miles on them. How would a similar(ly) used EV compare in price and reliability?

    • jon says:

      EVs come with usually 10yr/100K miles warranty for EV system. So you are covered.
      Now, even with used EV bought from dealership, you can avail tax incentive.

      • MM says:

        That’s if you buy new – which as I mentioned I cannot afford (especially not now).

        I’m not planning on purchasing an EV because I’m planning on driving my 2011 (ICE) until the day I die. But if plans change and I’m forced to aquire a new vehicle, I’m curious if an EV would be affordable or not.

        My last car was a 2003 and made it to 200k miles when it was totalled in 2018. My current 2011 just hit 150k; I do all my own maintenance religiously and can easily get 300k+ miles out of my current car.

        Are EVs still economical to keep running at 300k miles? Are there even any on the road with this much mileage?

        • Jon says:

          In California people with moderate income can buy evs like this..

          You pay 30k otd for chevy bolt brand new
          $7500 tax deduction
          $2k to $5k ca rebate

          So you are looking at 20k for brand new ev ..

        • Jon says:

          There are many evs with more than 200k on the road.

      • MM says:

        Also: can you do your own maintenance on an EV? I know most people just bring their cars to a shop, but being able to do stuff myself is part of the affordability of my current vehicle.

        • Jon says:

          I never needed any maintenance done other than tire rotation and new tires
          One can do these on their own

          Brakes last 100k miles or so

      • SoCalBeachDude says:

        There are no tax subsidies in CA for buying used EVs.

        • JeffD says:

          Federal: “For all used electric vehicle deliveries, eligible customers may receive a tax credit of up to $4,000, or up to 30% of the purchase price, whichever value is less.”

          California: “Through Clean Cars 4 All, various amounts ($5,500-$9,500) are available to replace an older ICE vehicle with an EV; income limits apply.”

  38. SoCalBeachDude says:

    DM: China recalls 1.1 MILLION Teslas over brake flaws that US regulators and Elon Musk IGNORED in 2021 – with carmaker saying it was a lie made up by short sellers

    Recall cites brake issue in imported Model S, Model X, and Model 3 cars, as well as in Chinese-made Model 3 and Model Y. Tesla called glitch ‘completely false’ in 2020.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      USA: GM recalls nearly 1 million vehicles over airbag defect. Just out today.

      USA: Ford recalls 1.5 million vehicles for brake defect (March 2023).

      It’s only what it’s a Tesla recall in China that you get titillated?

      • SoCalBeachDude says:

        Yes, we know what GM and Ford produce among the most defective vehicles in the world and those defects involve many millions or cars, but Teslas are even more defective than that and their defects have resulted in numerous fatalies and total destruction of Teslas by self-immolation among other things. Teslas are among the very worst vehicles on any road today by any standard.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          In your comments, you said that you’re BMW fan. So here are the latest BMW Recalls:

          BMW Recalls 2022-2023 Ix and X1 over Air Bag.
          2022-2023 BMW I4, Ix and 2023 I7 Recall.
          BMW Recalls 2022 I4 and 2022-2023 Ix over High Voltage Battery.
          BMW Recalls 2022 I4 and 2022-2023 Ix.
          BMW Sunroof Recall.
          BMW PCV Valve Heater Recall.
          BMW Diesel Fuel System Recall.
          BMW Recalls 2022 X4.

        • SoCalBeachDude says:

          Those recalls on BMWs are very minor and not safety related. BMW has gone out of its way to honor recalls on a 2014 535d which has had at least 2 recalls related to the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve system. We have no known recalls at all on our superb 325, 540i, 650i, or 740i cars.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          2022-02-08 – BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2022 330i, 530i, X3 xDrive30i, and X4 xDrive30i vehicles. The mechatronics unit inside the transmission may not have been assembled properly, which could result in an internal leak.

          That’s not “minor.” That’s a transmission job.

          But the Tesla brake recall in China was handled via an over-the-air software update, LOL

          This is the issue with the Tesla recall in China:

          “The vehicles within the scope of this recall do not allow the driver to choose the energy regenerative braking strategy; at the same time, the driver may not provide enough reminders when the driver depresses the accelerator pedal deeply for a long time. The superposition of the above factors may increase the probability of mistakenly stepping on the accelerator pedal for a long time, which may increase the risk of collision and pose a safety hazard.”

        • SoCalBeachDude says:

          The mechatronics unit not being assembled correctly is not that big of an issue. The repair is basically a fluid change and either a valve body replacement that just bolts in or a valve body overhaul that is only slightly more involved. It is NOT a transmission overhaul and is NOT A SAFETY ISSUE per se. Besides BMW acknowledged there could be an issue and are addressing it as needed at no cost to any owner.

  39. jhs says:

    In post- WW2 Britain, milk was delivered to houses in electric “milk floats”

    • Wolf Richter says:

      The first recorded motor-vehicle traffic fatality in the US occurred in 1899 in Manhattan, when a guy was run over by an EV! A the time, EVs competed with steam-powered cars.

      From one of my 2012 anti-incentive EV articles (I hate taxpayer-funded incentives):

      “On September 14, 1899, Henry Bliss stepped off a streetcar at West 74th Street and Central Park West in New York and got run over by a taxi. A plaque points out that it was the first automobile fatality in the “Western Hemisphere.” The taxi was an electric vehicle. As were 90% of the taxis in New York City and about 30% of all cars sold in the US.”


  40. Dan Farrand says:

    Yeah for EV’s. Sometime in the foreseeable future they will be real general purpose transportation. For now they are mostly urban commute cars, but getting better and better – as long as the engineers remain in charge in companies like Tesla.

    Every EV driven saves gasoline for me. One day in the next year or 3, I will buy an EV. Until then, it’s great to see them evolve and to see outfits like Tesla destroy large post-industrial American marketing giants like GM and Ford.

    Just don’t mandate when or what I should buy.

  41. Michael Gaff says:

    The hybrid cars are hugely responsible for less gasoline being purchased. If we can get Kerry out of his government sponsored jet for a few years, we would really make a dent in fossil fuel usage.

  42. DENNIS COSBAN says:

    I’m seeing motorcycles everywhere. Including me.
    My 2015 Honda rebel gets 70 miles per gallon. Of course when I obey the speed limits. Rec 90 also adds extra mpg. My motorcycle sat a lot. Once gas went over $3 a gallon.
    I started to use my motorcycle a lot more. ✌️

  43. wojtek says:

    If I read the charts correctly, 2018 to 2019 saw a decrease in gasoline consumption and decrease in fuel economy, with increase in total miles driven. (Worth mentioning I guess that the RWFE as measured by EPA includes gasoline equivalent of electric and hybrid cars.)

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