Drivers search for other options as gas prices reach historic levels

KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 10:20 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Drivers are facing frustration at the pump as gas prices reach all-time highs. Prices aren’t likely to drop anytime soon, so drivers are considering other options to save money behind the wheel.

“Every time you turn around, I mean, you could go in the morning at one price, you got at night and it’s a totally different price. It’s a little on the scary side,” driver Jill Ward said.

She used to pay around $30 for gas. On Monday, she paid $43.06. Ward as well as other drivers fear these frightening prices will continue to climb.

Another driver, Raul Mendez, paid $71 to fill up.

″This is nothing. It’s going to go real high so we have to do something about it, soon,” he said.

Some drivers are taking matters into their own hands. They’re changing what they drive in hopes of spending less cash to fill up.

“As gas prices are going up, people are looking to downsize, maybe from a larger truck or a bigger SUV, they want something that’s smaller and more gas efficient,” Xander Swartz, the general manager of Cactus Auto, said.

Some customers are even looking to change to electric or a gas/electric hybrid, but those are getting harder to come by and aren’t cheap. Swartz says he looks for new vehicles to buy for the dealership every day as demand increases.

“Whether it’s gas cars, but especially the hybrids, both the plug-in and the standard hybrids. We’ve been looking for full electric cars, but those are pretty expensive still,” he said.

The expense is what’s turning people away. They’ll either pay more for the vehicle or more at the pump. In the long run, Tucson Electric Power believes electric cars are the best way to go.

“The initial cost to purchase the vehicle is higher than a conventional gas-powered vehicle. Maintenance costs are lower and certainly fuel costs are lower,” TEP’s Joseph Barrios said.

TEP has seen the interest in electric vehicles increase recently. They’ve taken a number of steps to support customers who make the change.

“We have special pricing plans for both residential and commercial customers and we have incentives that can help offset the cost of installing vehicle chargers,” he said.

Right now, they have about 400 customers signed up for an electric vehicle plan.

Some other ways you can limit your gas mileage include: using public transportation, carpooling, running multiple errands in one trip, and riding a bike to places that are close by.

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