Gas Prices Rise 5.6 Cents a Gallon in the Northeast, West Virginia, and Michigan

Majority of voters favor gasoline-car phaseout. But all-electric goal faces tough opposition

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Published: July 12, 2015

| Updated: July 12, 2015

By:

Diane Rehm

Last updated: July 12, 2015 15:19 PM EDT

All-electric vehicles are the most popular choice of transportation for new car buyers, but their purchase preferences among new car buyers are changing, potentially signaling that electric vehicles may face the same challenges as hybrids (i.e., high price, limited driving range) as hybrids do now.

The Consumer Price Index for all goods and services in the U.S. shows that gasoline cars are on their way to becoming one of the most expensive ways to buy a car.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration this month said gasoline prices would climb even higher this year, to their second-highest level on record, while total petroleum demand has now fallen for two straight months.

The average price of gasoline increased 5.6 cents per gallon to $3.94 a gallon for the week ended Feb. 4, the third consecutive weekly increase. The average is $3.96 per gallon for this year, up from this year’s average of $3.95 a gallon in 2014, according to the EIA. And this year could be the first to come back to last year’s level, since the EIA doesn’t account for the economic impact of last summer’s Hurricane Sandy.

The EIA data are based primarily on wholesale prices, which are lower because of higher supplies and lower demand for petroleum. But they are only a small part of the price drivers pay.

The EIA data showed gas prices at $4.19 a gallon in South Carolina, $4.15 a gallon in Pennsylvania, and $4.07 a gallon in Michigan. Some of the biggest increases on U.S. gasoline prices include Alaska and West Virginia where gas prices have now risen 16 cents and 27 cents a gallon, respectively, since December.

And the higher prices are not just in the Northeast or Midwest.

In the last week of January, gas prices had climbed 7 cents a gallon in San Diego, 10 cents in

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