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Chris Bruce2012-01-03 17:04:42

Diesel Fuel Use Up 6.6% in California, Gasoline Use Down 2.2%

Diesel Fuel Use Up 6.6% in California, Gasoline Use Down 2.2%

Two data points do not make a trend but can be a cause for intriguing speculation. Sales of diesel fuel were up 6.6% in California in the third quarter of  2011, while gasoline sales were down 2%. 

The reason for the drop is gas use is unknown for the moment. Gasoline prices in California were $3.14 per gallon in 2010 versus $3.88 per gallon in 2011. In comparison diesel cost $3.14 per gallon in 2010 versus $4.06 per gallon in 2011. All of these statistics are for the third quarter in their respective year. 

It is hard to draw anything from these statistics by themselves and manufacturers do not give up sales data by state. It would seem that people with gasoline powered cars are either driving less or that they are buying more fuel efficient vehicles. 

The increase in diesel use is harder to parse, especially in the US. Diesel cars are only available from a handful of manufacturers: Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes. There are also diesel-fueled pick-up trucks from Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge. Although car sales are up in the US for 2011, it is hard to imagine that consumers in California are buying buying enough diesel vehicles to drive the use of fuel up by nearly 10%. 

Instead, we have to look at the other major user of diesel fuel in the US: Semi trucks. These vehicles carry most of the US's overland goods. It could be a good sign for struggling US economy that semis are driving more. Although, it could also show that it has become prohibitively expensive to ship goods other ways, and that logistics companies are turning more towards semis. 

Source: The Green Car Web Site

1 comment

So Diesel is more expensive than Gazoline in California. It is the reverse in France, Belgium, Italy. And more than half the cars are Diesel in France as an example.
04.01.2012 @ 22:18


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