Possible increased interest in electric cars as California gas prices remain high

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Monday, October 10, 2022
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For months now, Californians have been paying top dollar for a gallon of gas - the highest rates in the country.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For months now, Californians have been paying top dollar for a gallon of gas - the highest rates in the country.

A South Valley couple says filling their diesel truck averages almost $200, but Zaida Elias is the proud owner of a Tesla.

"I like being able to go home and plug it in, not having to stop at a gas station and you get a lot of miles per charge," Zaida said. "I don't have to pay for gas and it's awesome."

But the big question for everyone remains -- how much longer will the price at the pump stay so high and is it time to go electric?

Scott Cain, President of West Hills Oil says there could be some relief on the way.

"The wholesale price of gas has fallen about a buck a gallon in the last week, so we will see some relief," he said. "But for those stations who put a load before the gas fell, it's going to take a while before it works through the system."

Statistics show more people are switching to electric vehicles, which falls in line with Gov. Newsom's plan to achieve 100% zero emission vehicles by 2035.

Some question if the state will be ready.

"We have these records temps asking electric vehicle owners not to plug their cars, so how does the grid handle everyone having an electric car," Cain said.

Analyst Nick VinZant says the Golden State is already leading the way.

"When we look electric vehicle infrastructure currently in place, California ranks number one by a wide margin," he said. "A lot can happen between now and 2035. I think California is off to a really big head start."

Meanwhile, the couple says they plan to keep their electric vehicle and diesel truck to be safe.

"In reality, if we are going to be fighting climate change, we need a lot of different types of clean energy," they said.

VinZant says in the last year, interest in electric vehicles increased by 74% in California.

A supercharger station in Traver is the only one in the South Valley, and electric vehicle owners say it's worth coming here than paying for gas.