I imagine that our readers in the UK are giggling furiously at the American panic over gas prices this year as we finally begin to think about paying what those of you in the old world have been for years.
It just looks like a place with cheap fuel, doesn’t it? Image from WaynePhotoGuy
Well, then let me drop a number that will make the Americans euphoric, and probably plunge the rest of you into shock: you can fill up your entire tank for five dollars in Utah.
Utah, which you may recall was not fancied by Queen Elizabeth, has, through a series of federal and tax subsidies fantastically cheap compressed natural gas. This allows Americans used to paying roughly sixty dollars to fill their tanks to do it for five, so long as they have a compressed natural gas vehicle. And therein, it seems, lies the rub…
Only Honda makes a vehicle that runs on gas with a private consumer in mind anymore, and they can’t make the modified civic fast enough. Demand is far outstripping supply: almost every compressed natural gas vehicle in the country is being sold to satisfy demand in Utah. This believe it or not, exceeds demand even in California: the only other state with the infrastructure to support the vehicles. However, the difference lies in the fact that the sunshine state lacks the subsidies that make driving in Utah like driving for free.
At this point, the only thing restraining the converts in Utah, (including the Governor, who modified his state-owned SUV with his own money is supply) as the gas companies are having trouble keeping pressure in the tank to fill the 5,000+ vehicles on the roads.
We’ll even throw in a free album.