Gas Prices and The Demand for Electric/Hybrid Cars

By Nupur Kudapkar

On March 8, 2022​, “President Biden will sign an Executive Order (E.O.) to ban the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal to the United States—a significant action with widespread bipartisan support that will further deprive President Putin of the economic resources he uses to continue his needless war of choice. The United States made this decision in close consultation with our Allies and partners around the world, as well as Members of Congress of both parties. The United States is able to take this step because of our strong domestic energy infrastructure and we recognize that not all of our Allies and partners are currently in a position to join us. But we are united with our Allies and partners in working together to reduce our collective dependence on Russian energy and keep the pressure mounting on Putin, while at the same taking active steps to limit impacts on global energy markets and protect our own economies” (The White House).

The tragedy of the Russian-Ukrainian war led to this decision. As of April 11, 2022 gas prices have been brought up to almost seven dollars. With gas prices approaching seven dollars per gallon, many drivers are searching for a vehicle that will travel further on a gallon of gas, or perhaps one that does not require fuel at all. It is, however, difficult to locate such a vehicle. Electric vehicles and gas-electric hybrids are in low supply, and costs are fast rising. Smaller gasoline-powered automobiles are likewise in short supply, as automakers have prioritized the production of more profitable pickup trucks and SUVs. Americans have a toxic relationship with cars like these. Consumers are more concerned about fuel economy now that gasoline prices have risen to an all-time high, unadjusted for inflation. Compact, gasoline-powered automobiles are less costly and offer higher gas mileage, but supply are limited. According to Pete Swenson, senior vice president at Walser Automotive Group, which runs a string of dealerships in Minnesota, Kansas and Illinois, ‘“In previous times, when gas [prices] spiked, people reacted quickly, and then when gas went back down, it seems like they switched back”’ (npr). Most Americans are now finding it harder to buy electric cars such as Teslas or hybrids such as Toyotas or Hondas on the basis that gas will continue to rise, but as the demand rises and people do not want to pay money for ridiculous gas prices who knows how hard it will be to find these cars in a few more months.