Washington state to spend $450,000 going after gasoline 'superusers'

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Washington state will be spending $450,000 of taxpayer money to go after so-called gasoline “superusers,” drivers that allegedly use a disproportionately large amount of gasoline relative to other drivers.

Senate Bill (SB) 5689, which was recently passed by the state legislature, allows researchers in the field to find out personal information on these “superusers.” They will be researching who these drivers are, where they live, what they drive, how much they spend on gasoline, and what might induce them to switch from a gasoline vehicle to a battery-electric vehicle, Driving.ca reports.

The results will be collected by January 2023 and will be given to Governor Jay Inslee (D) and the state government for evaluation.

Last July, a Seattle-based electric vehicle (EV) advocacy non-profit called Coltura released a report called “Gasoline Superusers” which likely sparked the state legislature’s effort. Coltura conducted their research through data released by the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) 2017 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS).

NHTS surveyed 130,000 households and found that 10 percent of light-duty vehicle drivers use 32 percent of the gasoline bought by all light-duty drivers. According to the data, that 10 percent buys roughly 1,000 gallons per year to drive more than 30,000 miles and consumes more gas than the bottom 60 percent. For this, Coltura coined them the gasoline “superusers.”

In a separate investigation conducted by The Seattle Times, research found that 7 percent of Washington state drivers consume roughly 25 percent of the state’s gasoline. The most common vehicle found to be behind the “superusers” is a Ford F-150.

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