Hold onto you wallet. Gas prices have risen consistently over the last month, edging ever upward. Once again, California leads the nation into the abyss, with a state average of $4.203 per gallon, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. While today’s prices are still below the records set last fall, we’ll see those historic numbers eclipsed if the rise is unabated. In all likelihood, it won’t be long until that happens, as prices typically rise into the summer driving season, when demand peaks.
The movement of gasoline prices over time is a tricky topic for many to understand. While there are those who would pin the causes on any number of usual suspects, one pundit will surely disagree with the next as to the root of the problem.
Animator Omid Malekan takes a simple approach to the subject, using two bears and a straightforward chart that shows – with little doubt – a clear connection between the price of gas in America and stock prices. No stranger to economics, Omid’s popular videos tackle a range of topics, including the European Economic Crisis, Inflation, the Bank Bailouts, and the Federal Reserve. In short, it’s all about the markets and money supply.
Are you thinking about replacing your gas guzzler with a fuel-efficient vehicle that gets more miles per gallon (MPG)? Not sure how much money you can expect to save every week, month, or year? MPGomatic to the rescue!
Cost justifying the purchase of a high gas mileage vehicle starts with some basic numbers. Thankfully, it isn’t a complicated process. You’ll begin by comparing the real-world gas mileage of your existing vehicle with the official government estimates for the new vehicle(s) that you have in mind.
So how much does a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline cost today, compared to previous years? The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) publishes a table of prices that breaks down the average cost of gasoline along with the percentage of refining, distribution and marketing, taxes, and crude oil. We’ve taken the table and turned it into two charts.
The first chart simply shows the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline over the years, starting in January 2000 through April 2012.
Folks are often distracted by the cost-differential between regular unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard variations of the same question, “how can you justify buying a diesel-powered car with the 30 cent difference between diesel and gasoline?”
Diesel engines can be as much as 30% more fuel efficient than the equivalent gasoline engine. The cost-differential between diesel fuel and regular unleaded varies depending on factors that include seasonal fluctuations, geographic location, and market demand.
So how do diesel cars save money over their gasoline engine counterparts, when diesel fuel is more expensive than regular unleaded gasoline? Continue reading →