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Rising gas prices leading to growing popularity of electric vehicles

Posted at 6:55 AM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 09:57:23-05

(KERO) — Experts say they don't expect gas prices to drop any time soon and Californians are now looking to avoid the pump as much as possible. This is leading to a growing popularity in electric vehicles.

"We don't anticipate that the demand for fuel is going to decrease anytime soon," said Doug Shupe, a AAA spokesperson.

And AAA says there's a direct correlation from the introduction of the vaccine to people wanting to free themselves from lockdown over the course of this year.

"Even though it sucks to have such high gas prices maybe a little bit of good will come out of it, people start shifting to electric and hybrid," said Benji Miller, a Prius owner.

Which is exactly what's happened, the domino-effect has continued.

According to Kelley Blue Book & Cox Automotive second quarter data, electrified vehicle sales are up 200% year over year.

"You look at your monthly expenses when you have a hybrid, it just goes down by about half," said Miller.

Miller owns a Prius and his mother, Lee, owns an all-electric BMW.

"She hasn't been to a gas station in years," said Miller.

AAA says with the technology improving, electric vehicles can go farther on a charge and hybrids now come in SUVS, for example.
More variety for everyone.

"There's so many more options on the market these days that in addition to the higher gas prices, and the environmental benefits people are considering them because they just make sense for some families," said Shupe.

But how common are electric vehicles in California?

According to the California Energy Commission there are 635,000 zero emission vehicles registered in the state at the end of last year. 369,000 of those vehicles are fully electric while 259,000 are plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Those numbers are compared to 25 million gasoline powered vehicles as of the end of 2020.

In Kern County there are just over 3,200 zero emission vehicles.

Plug-in hybrids are the more popular option, although the most popular car in Kern County is the fully electric Tesla Model 3 with 544 registered Model 3s on the road in the county.