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California Gasoline Use Down 2.3%, Diesel Down 3.2% in November 2009

California gasoline consumption decreased 2.3% and diesel consumption declined 3.2% in November 2009 compared to the same month in 2008, according to figures released by Betty T. Yee, Chairwoman of the Board of Equalization (BOE).

January through November 2009, California gasoline consumption declined 1.4% compared to January through November of 2008.

Gasoline consumption declined 2.3 percent in November 2009 when Californians used 1.170 billion gallons of gasoline compared to 1.198 billion gallons in November 2008. The average price at the pump for gasoline in California during November 2009 was $3.01 per gallon compared to $2.51 in November 2008, a 19.9% increase. Prices were extremely low in late 2008, reflecting the burst of a crude oil price bubble that developed earlier in the year.

Diesel consumption in California declined by 3.2% in November 2009 when Californians used 198 million gallons compared to 204 million gallons in November 2008. Diesel prices in California were $2.96 per gallon in November 2009, up 4.6% compared to November 2008 when the average diesel price was $2.83 per gallon. The decline in diesel consumption continues to follow the economy’s activity in California.

The BOE is able to monitor gallons through tax receipts paid by fuel distributors. Figures for December 2009 are scheduled to be available at the end of March 2010.



According to the dot vmt on California state highways increased by 1.6%.

State highways represent only part of the traffic, but still, it suggests cars are getting more fuel efficient.



A 1.6% increase in miles travelled and 2.4 less fuel used would indicate about 4% better average fuel economy over one year, if the inventory was about the same.

Is that possible? If so, CAFE could be raised 4%/yr without major impact? With the arrival of more efficient lighter ICE, HEVs, PHEVs and BEVs the annual average fuel reduction could be well over 5% soon.

Stan Peterson

Commercial traffic is way down, as expressed by the diesel consumption. Meanwhile selective use of vehicles for personal use has temporarily increases personal mileage and miles driven.

I suggest that RVs have been parked and the mileage driven by tow vehicles have been temporarily minimized, in these tough recessions times.


I would say the $4 gas in July 2008 and the recession has had an effect. Large SUV owners using them for commuting one person and RV users may have come to their senses.

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