(NewsNation) — Gas prices are reaching new highs, far above $4 a gallon — the highest price that American motorists have faced since July 2008 — as calls grow to ban imports of Russian oil.
Prices at the pump were rising long before Russia invaded Ukraine and have spiraled faster since the start of the war. The U.S. national average for a gallon of gasoline has soared 45 cents in the past week and topped $4.18 on Tuesday, according to auto club AAA. But could electric vehicles solve the issue?
Since gas prices started to rise over the last few months, 25% of all Americans expressed interest in making their next car electric.
Electric vehicles are not subject to the same price fluctuations that the global oil market can be, making the cost to fuel your ride cheaper.
On average, it takes between $10 and $45 to fuel your electric car at a power station versus roughly $140 to fill a Ford F-150 at the pump right now.
But depending on the type of electric vehicle you buy, you’re still on the hook for gas, just less.
A regular hybrid uses roughly 30-60% less fuel than a conventional model, whereas a plug-in uses about 40% less.
The lack of charging stations nationwide and initial high costs of purchasing an EV remain the two major drawbacks to electric vehicles that gas-powered vehicles don’t suffer.
But those fuel cost savings do eventually even out the lifetime costs for an electric vehicle.
The United States is the world’s largest oil producer — ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia — but it is also the biggest oil consumer, and it can’t meet that staggering demand with domestic crude alone.
“We would easily be talking about a national average that surpasses the $5-gallon mark and could rise closer to $5.25 or $5.50,” GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan said.
Autoinsurance.com says nine out of 10 car owners are now concerned about being able to afford filling up. But experts warn it isn’t just filling up our own cars we need to worry about. Diesel prices are fast approaching an all-time high of their own, with prices only about 20 cents short of a record high. Diesel is the fuel of commerce, so these rising prices will hit your wallet everywhere from the grocery store to the mall to the skies.
“Anything that’s put on a semi-truck, which is basically the entirety of U.S. goods, is going to cost more,” De Haan said. “Keep in mind this doesn’t just end with semi-trucks either; trains also are affected, planes, airfares. Anything that uses petroleum is going to see an impact from these record-high gas prices and soon to be record high diesel prices.”