When gas is rare
Photo by Mehluli Hikwa on Unsplash
Currently the price of gas in North America is at the lowest value we've seen in a decades because of the pandemic and a price war started by Russia. This whole situation is not great for gas stations of course because people aren't driving and their profits increase with great gas prices.
This also points gas price volatility, both down and and up. Some gas stations will go bankrupt, some owners will retire a little earlier, but eventually there will be less gas stations.
As more and more people are buying battery electric vehicles (BEV), the writing will be on the wall. Who would want to open a new gas station in this climate? Could you guarantee that there will be more gas guzzling customers in 5 years?
As you have to drive further and further to gas up, the practicality of charging your car at home becomes more and more attractive. With less competition from other gas stations, the opportunities to price gouge will be high. All this makes electric cars even more attractive.
The shipping and refining of gas is complicated and fragile. If there is a lot of price volatility and declining margins you might see gasoline shortages. You might not be able to fill up you car or truck some days.
Electricity is abundant and cheap, and getting cheaper. Some cities are putting electric chargers at every lamppost. I've eaten at restaurants while my car charged for free, I've stayed at hotels and b&b's where I woke up to a fully charged car, again for free. I can charge my car at work for free. I've never gone to a restaurant where they gave me a jerrycan of gas on the way out.
You never have to 'make a trip' to fill up, when the "gas pump" is in your garage.
Installing my charger
All of this is additional pressure that ICE vehicle owners will feel with increasing frequency. At some point they will get fed up and will start looking for a BEV to replace their old gasoline car. And they will be delighted, because BEVs are safe, quiet, reliable and cheap to operate.
What I'm saying is that this gasoline price volatility is going to accelerate the move to electric transportation. Eventually, only rich people will be able to afford gasoline cars, and they will drive it mostly for nostalgia purposes, like driving a Model T. They'll have to drive for miles to the nearest gas station or install their own pumps at home.
In theory it's going to take at least 20 years for cars that are made to today live our their useful lives, but I think it might be even sooner. Who wants an old car that needs expensive maintenance and when gas is expensive and hard to find. A lot of people will be dumping their ICE c for scrap because no one wants to buy their old vehicle.
The electric future is coming and it's coming sooner than you think.