There are forecasts that British Columbians should brace for higher gasoline prices this week, with some areas around Vancouver and Victoria expected to exceed $2 a litre.
Gasoline prices are expected to rise by more than $2 a liter in some British Columbia communities this week, making them the most expensive places to fill up with gas in Canada.
Regular gasoline is expected to soar to 200.9 cents in the Vancouver area on Tuesday, May 30, according to the Fuel Forecast Service’s price forecast, which is slightly higher than the forecast for Victoria (195.9). Gas handler.
Meanwhile, Kelowna and Kamloops expect lower prices at the pump, with a liter of regular gasoline expected to cost around $1.75 on Tuesday.
“Today these are the highest prices since November 12, 2022,” said Dan McTeague of Charming Gas.
For Metro Vancouver and Victoria, about half of the increase in gasoline costs will come from the largest spot oil market in the Pacific Northwest. The other half comes from provincial taxes that support the maintenance and expansion of transit, among other public goods.
Gas stations in other parts of the province, as well as western Canada and the rest of the United States, take price cues from the Chicago spot market, which reflects cheaper gasoline prices.
“There’s no problem with the refinery shutdowns,” McTeague said of the recent increase in gasoline prices. “And there’s no scheduled maintenance … so none of those factors that often come into play this time of year.
“Getting us to $2.00 a liter means we can start to see the new normal in the $2.15 to $2.20 range for at least the rest of the summer and into the fall.”
Over the next week, McTeague said, decisions around the world – including AJ and a possible reduction in oil production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – could destabilize markets and push oil prices further.
According to Fuel Insights’ Friend of Gasoline, average gasoline prices in British Columbia are $0.27 lower than the same period last year, when fuel markets faced great uncertainty following Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine.
Electric vehicle ownership hits new high in British Columbia
The recent increase in gasoline prices comes as BC continues to lead sales of new electric vehicles in North America.
According to a recent report from S&P Global, in the first three months of 2023, about 16% of new car sales were electric vehicles, a number that rises to about 18% if plug-in hybrids are included .
More than four percent of registered vehicles in British Columbia are now electric. The province leads all other Canadian jurisdictions in its share of electric vehicles, with more than a quarter of zero-emissions light-duty vehicles in the country.
Nationwide, however, EV sales in the first quarter of 2023 were slightly lower than those for the end of 2022. An S&P Global analysis found that Tesla registrations, which previously accounted for 50 percent of sales, fell 30 percent. , per cent in the first three months of 2023, representing a 10 per cent loss of market share in Canada.
The analysis said inflationary pressures are likely to lead to a temporary decline and pointed to “challenges ahead”. However, in the longer term, S&P Global says the recent downturn is a “bump in the road” and that EV market share is on track to meet the federal goal of 100% light vehicle sales with zero emissions by 2035.
B.C. often breaks its EV sales record every few months, says Werner Entweiler, professor and energy expert at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.
“For the first time in the last quarter of this year, the total share of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles exceeded four per cent,” he said.
On average, Entwiler said, it costs four times more to operate a gas-powered car than an electric car.
Wealthy municipalities continue to lead the adoption of electric vehicles
Despite the cost savings of running an electric vehicle over the life of the vehicle, cars still tend to be more expensive than equivalent internal combustion engine models.
British Columbia consumer trends show that enrollment remains highest in affluent districts such as West Vancouver and some municipalities around Greater Victoria.
Entwiler says there are many factors that go into a person’s decision to buy an electric car, but the biggest deciding factor is comfort. He added that if you have a parking spot where you can leave your car at home, you are more likely to choose an EV.
“Uptake in high-density, multi-unit apartment buildings is quiet,” Entwiler says. “It’s a matter of convenience.”
Once a status symbol to flaunt wealth, more and more mid-range electric cars are hitting the market, the energy expert said. In 2024, 41 new battery electric vehicles are scheduled to be launched on the Canadian market. Those models include more affordable options, but also lightweight pickup trucks, as well as four Jeep models, an electric Hummer, the GMC Sierra and the Chevy Silverado, according to S&P Global.
With electric car prices already falling, Entwiler says governments need to continue offering rebates to help people buy electric cars and close the gap in charging infrastructure.
“Infrastructure is still the missing piece. That’s where support should go.”
EV charging unlikely to experience price fluctuations like gasoline
British Columbians have several advantages when it comes to switching to electric vehicles: Hydropower ensures a low-carbon electricity supply that is relatively cheap and sustainable in a changing climate.
“We have very little variation throughout the day or throughout the season,” Entwiler said.
There are still significant challenges to overcome. The new electric vehicles are expected to put pressure on the BC power grid, especially during peak hours. To meet this demand, some say the province needs to ramp up building infrastructure for wind and solar power, which are cheaper and take less time to build than hydro. Nearly all parties agree that residents and BC Hydro can balance electricity demand during winter evening hours, when demand is typically highest.
To that end, the BC Public Utilities Commission is currently reviewing a file requesting BC Hydro to charge customers less during peak hours, when fewer people place orders on the network.
If approved, BC Hydro will offer five cents per kilowatt-hour savings to anyone using electricity between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., and an additional five cents per kWh between 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. -Will offer hourly fee. Electric vehicle owners to charge their cars year-round at low overnight costs.
“People need to think long term,” Entwiler said.
“The difference between the prices of gas and electricity will only increase.”