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Cars gas anxiety

Published on February 24th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan

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4 Types Of Gas Station Anxiety

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February 24th, 2014 by Zachary Shahan 

gas anxiety

Commenters have brought up two interesting types of “gas station anxiety” over the past several months. They’re quite different, but I think both are worth highlighting.

I’ll start with the most recent one, since it got me to write this article. The other day, I published an article about convenience being a top reason why electric cars would likely disrupt the gas-dominated auto industry. One of our clever readers switched the whole “range anxiety” overhype on its head and coined “gas station anxiety.” He or she note: “I have 2 electric cars in California and the convenience of no time spent doing smog checks is a big deal. The gas station anxiety is also a big reason to own an electric car.” I love it! Interestingly, this was also right after I published an article about “gasmobile buyer’s remorse“—about a former Chevy Volt driver who went with a Cadillac CTS when his lease expired rather than waiting a bit for the Cadillac ELR. This driver noted that he had serious buyer’s remorse and didn’t realize how much he would hate and dread going to the gas station so regularly again.

Unfortunately, I don’t recall on which article someone commented with this second type of “gas station anxiety,” but I think the commenter was actually one of our writers, Jo Borras. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) He noted that as the transition to electric cars really gets going, gas stations will go out of businesses. Of course, electric cars can easily charge at home, but gasmobiles need to go get their gas from a gas station. At some point, that’s going to become more of a pain and even more inconvenient than it is today. How much will used gasmobiles be worth at that point?!

Of course, aside from the above, there are two more types of gas station anxiety that are widespread issues today. There’s gas station anxiety that people have simply because they are sick of (and perhaps have genuine financial difficulty from) gasoline costs that pull away a significant portion of the money they have earned. And there’s the gas station anxiety that people have when they are well aware of the tremendous climate and health problems associated with the use of gas yet they are still driving gasmobiles. No fun. I’ve been there. And happy that I left that world behind about 10 years ago—one of the best decisions of my life.

Help spread the word about this psychological affliction so that others are careful to avoid it.

Gas anxiety image via Shutterstock

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Erocker

    A gas station anxiety you may have left off: Using a credit card and exposing yourself to identity theft and all the other problems using a credit cards exposes you to. They now have a fix for this problem, buy an electric car.

  • DaveinOlyWA

    Great article and am now on my 3rd EV (2 LEAFs and a ZENN) and people tell me its too inconvenient when I tell them how easy it is to plan a trip which includes consideration for charging sessions (if any) speed, weather, etc.

    but I tell them its too inconvenient for me to have to budget for a moving target (the price of gas). My transportation budget is pretty static and generally varies less than $10 a month on the EV side. I do drive a lot as part of my job and use my gas POV about 1-6 X a month with the LEAF covering the rest (also have company car occasionally) but I only average getting gas once or twice a mo

  • http://noapologyliberal.blogspot.com/ Matthew Rose

    I have breathing gasoline fume anxiety.

  • tmac1

    1993 last time Federal gas tax was increased despite substantial increases in labor, supplies, miles of roads to be upgraded built etc.

    One could blame president George H Bush read my lips no new taxes or the Democrats or the libertarians or the Tea Party but really the American people routinely vote out anyone who even hints at making us pay the true cost of a gallon of Dino- juice.

  • JamesWimberley

    Gas taxes aren’t only about wear-and-tear, which as others have pointed out is mostly caused by trucks. It’s also a rather poor proxy for a congestion tax: in towns, each additional vehicle of any type going on to the road slows down all the others. Of course, targeted congestion fees are more efficient in this area than gas taxes.

  • Jim Seko

    Fight the oil companies with plugin cars. Fight the coal industry with solar PV and fight natural gas fracking with a heat pump.

    • Rick Kargaard

      Using the word fight is a good way to start one. Your point, though, is a good one. Make a difference with your personal choices. Fighting is not necessary Only well reasoned education is

      • A Real Libertarian

        “Using the word fight is a good way to start one.”

        The fight’s already started.

        There’s this childish belief that anyone who acknowledges conflict is responsible for starting it.

        “He who smelt it, dealt it.”

        “He who proposes hiking taxes on the rich, started the class war.”

  • saurdigger

    As the electric car movement picks up steam, I’m wondering whether we’ll start to hear rumblings of additional taxes. The road system is a huge infrastructure of which only a portion is paid through gas taxes. If that portion diminishes, will people accept less road maintenance? I don’t think so.

    It’s not that important now, but could be in the future.

    • Bob_Wallace

      It’s already happening. One or more states have already created a road use tax for EVs.

      That’s fair. EVs shouldn’t be given a free ride.

      • ADW

        I agree, the gas tax needs to be a road repair tax for EV’s. What good is an EV if the road is un-driveable. Given the gas tax is indexed to your usage, I would be ok with an annual EV tax based on miles traveled. (State and Federal).

      • sault

        If you look at which vehicles are and aren’t causing wear and tear to our roads, it’s actually not fair. Damage to roads is a function of the CUBE of a vehicle’s weight per axle. Accordingly, semi trucks each cause 300 – 3000 TIMES the damage that a passenger vehicle causes to drive the same distance. As one recent analysis of the problem stated:

        “When discussing road wear, cars don’t matter: road damage is effectively caused by trucks.”

        (google “Understanding Road Wear and its Causes
        Understanding Road Wear and its Causes Philip A. Viton
        January 26, 2012″)

        • Larry

          Good point Bob. Trucking companies have great lobbyists who make sure they never pay their fair share for damage they cause. How about a base fee for every vehicle and an additional tax scaled to the potential for road damage?

          • Rick Kargaard

            The cost would be passed on to the consumer in any case. Why bother taxing the truckers any more. Just try to keep their load limits and speeds to where they cause the least damage.

      • Matt

        We since gas taxes have not cover road/bridge repair for since before 2000. I think that They should have left the gas tax as is as a sin tax. And then had a road use tax on all powered items that use the roads. Based on weight since road wear is based on weight. That would cover the hold in road maintenance cost, and point out that be a pollution source is not good for you or your neighbor.

    • bfr12

      Definitely important that all road users pay a fair share of its upkeep costs. However, I think the gas tax is broken and don’t think that just taxing EVs is an effective solution. With the focus on higher mileage vehicles over the past decade, the gas tax has almost become regressive in nature. Those who can afford newer technology in their vehicles pay less at the pump.

      Additionally, I don’t think it makes sense to create new taxes for each new class of vehicle. How do you tax PHEVs as opposed to pure EVs? What about bio-fuels? What happens as hybrid technology moves into larger and larger vehicles and you have heavy pickups paying less gas tax than some older, but lighter passenger vehicles?

      The real solution, as others have mentioned before, is a true road use tax. Annual Mileage X Gross Weight X Tax Rate. This would be paid right along with your annual registration fee. Self reporting with heavy fines for fraudulent reporting should be sufficient. No need to have a big brother solution. Simply add checking the odometer as a standard part of traffic stops. In addition, whenever a vehicle is sold, the mileage must be reported and any unpaid tax would be the responsibility of the seller.

      This might even be a politically workable tradeoff since many people will focus on the elimination of the gas tax. While it would be nice to tax gas to account for the climate effects, that may not be possible. However, economic forces mean that we may not have too. Alternate technologies will only continue to get more attractive to consumers.

      • Matt

        Right on except the weight needs a F(weight). My motorcycle that weight 1/10 you truck does less that 1/10 the wear on the road. And that semi which weights 30 times your truck does more than 30 time the wear.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      This is a very long-standing issue in itself. Gas taxes haven’t been covering road construction and repair for a long time. Was a hot topic in transportation planning when I was studying that in 2005–2007. The issue that has remained for over a decade is that it is politically unpopular to add transportation taxes, but plenty of research and ideas are out there (taxes on VMT, VMT weighted by weight, toll roads in which you are tracked & charged wirelessly, etc, etc).

      • Matt

        Holland does their yearly car tax based on weight. And it isn’t linear! Well at least they did.

  • mike_dyke

    There’s also the gas station anxiety of “Will there be any gas left for me? Will I be rationed?” when there’s a problem affecting deliveries to gas stations.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Right, good one.

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