Gas prices in Alberta have shot up by about 10 cents per litre in the last couple of days and experts say we haven’t yet seen the highest prices at the pumps.
The price for gas in Edmonton spiked to about $1.55.9 per litre Thursday morning. The price in Calgary hit $1.57.9, although cheaper prices could be found at some stations in both cities.
Gas prices creeping up across Edmonton amid war in Ukraine
Gas prices in Calgary haven’t been below about $1.30 per litre since June 2021. About one year ago, Calgarians paid about $1.15 per litre, and two years ago the cost of gas was about $0.78 per litre.
The president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, an organization focused on keeping energy services affordable, said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has “everything to do with it.”
“Russia is the third-largest producer of oil,” Dan McTeague explained. Many nations, particularly those in Europe, rely too much on Russian oil, he continued. But he said that even the United States, which would have received one million barrels of oil a day through the cancelled Keystone XL Pipeline, “now relies on almost 800,000 barrels a day on Russia.”
“As we sanction Russia — its oil and gas — it leaves the world extraordinarily short on supply.”
Canada has banned all imports of Russian crude oil, though the country hasn’t been dependent on crude oil from Russia for years.
The trickle-down effect
The price of oil sat at about US$110 per barrel Thursday and McTeague said we can expect to see that increase to US$130 or US$140 over the next couple of weeks as the conflict continues.
Experts said it won’t only be drivers who are affected by the price increases. The cost of diesel is rising at an even faster rate, McTeague explained. The price increases will trickle down to everything from public transit to the cost of food, he explained.
“We’re going to pay much more for everything, even those of us who don’t drive,” he said. “Agricultural products and of course processing costs and transportation costs are going through the roof.
“It looks like we’re going to have to, as it were, buckle up and hunker down for the next several weeks at least.”
Candace Owen is the co-owner of Chris’ Delivery Service (CDS), an Edmonton and area courier service that delivers things like small packages, prescriptions, legal documents and bank deposits in and around the city.
“The cost of gas, one year ago today was 35 per cent less than right now. That is a big increase in one year,” Owen said. “We’ve also had some drivers that couldn’t economically maintain working because of the cost of fuel and the cost of living.”
Owen said CDS drivers pay for their own fuel. The company charges its customers a fuel surcharge, but it only covers about 75 per cent of fuel costs.
The company has not raised its prices in five years but Owen said unfortunately, that changed Thursday morning. The company decided to increase prices by about five per cent as a way to try to absorb some of the extra costs it’s facing.
“We strive to give great service for a low price but unfortunately with everything — literally everything — going up, we have to go with the times too, and there’s going to have to just be a little bit of a price raise,” she said.
“Unless you are getting the same amount of a raise at work that matches the raise of everything going up, then it affects you negatively.”
Albertans need to get used to paying higher prices for gas: Expert
Charles St-Arnaud, a chief economist with Alberta Central, said that while the increase in oil prices will be a benefit to the province and oil sector revenues, the general public does not stand to benefit.
“We’ll be paying more for natural gas to heat our homes, more for gasoline to put in our cars, more for electricity because here in Alberta a lot of our electricity production is made through natural gas. All of that will increase and push inflation higher,” he explained.
“Inflation is starting to erode their purchasing power,” St-Arnaud said of consumers in Alberta. “Interest rates are increasing too, so suddenly their debt services is up. So everything is kind of pushing against them having space for discretionary spending.”
Calgary gas prices soar to record levels as war in Ukraine continues
Alberta’s 2022 budget promises natural gas bill rebates for consumers. A utilities rebate will be triggered starting Oct. 1 if gas prices exceed $6.50 a gigajoule.
Opposition leader Rachel Notley called it a phantom plan, given that the government’s own forecasts don’t predict the price will ever reach that threshold and the government has not set aside any money to pay it out.
Premier Jason Kenney was asked about the rising gas prices during an unrelated news conference Thursday morning. He said that while he is concerned about the increasing cost, the government’s focus right now is on the natural gas rebate program announced in the budget.
“We know that these gas prices are hitting everybody all around the world, not just here,” Kenney said.
The premier also said it wouldn’t make sense for Alberta to offer a rebate with the federal carbon tax set to increase to 11 cents on April 1. He once again called on the federal government to scrap its carbon tax.
“The urgent thing is for the government of Canada to stop making this situation even worse, because they plan on April 1 on increasing taxes on gasoline through an increase in the carbon tax. This is ridiculous,” he said.
“If Justin Trudeau were to agree not to raise the gas tax, federal gas tax, on April 1, then we would look for sure at further relief here in Alberta. But a provincial cut when he intends to increase it leaves consumers no further ahead.”
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
gas prices reach new high | CTV News – CTV News Toronto
Gas prices have reached yet another new record after rising six cents per litre overnight.
As of midnight the average price of a litre of fuel across the Greater Toronto Area is now 208.9 cents per litre, according to Canadians for Affordable Energy President Dan McTeague.
The latest jump means that gas prices have now risen 11 cents per litre since Friday, with no real relief in sight due to supply shortages brought about by Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine and the international sanctions that have been imposed a result.
“When you look at the fundamentals, supply and demand for diesel and for gasoline going into the summer driving season, not only is it low or critically low and that is one of the main reasons why prices are going up but the second factor is the Canadian dollar,” McTeague told CP24 last week. “It continues to show weakness despite the fact that in the old good old days when oil was $100 a barrel we would be on par with the U.S. dollar. The fact that we’re not is costing you 33 cents a litre.”
Gas prices have risen by about 60 per cent since last May, when drivers were paying around $1.30 per litre to fill up.
Musk says Twitter legal team told him he violated an NDA – The Globe and Mail
Elon Musk on Saturday tweeted that Twitter Inc.’s legal team accused him of violating a non-disclosure agreement by revealing that the sample size for the social media platform’s checks on automated users was 100.
“Twitter legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100!” tweeted Mr. Musk, chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc.
Mr. Musk on Friday tweeted that his US$44-billion cash deal to take the company private was “temporarily on hold” while he awaited data on the proportion of its fake accounts.
Twitter legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100!
This actually happened.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 14, 2022
He said his team would test “a random sample of 100 followers” on Twitter to identify the bots. His response to a question prompted Twitter’s accusation.
When a user asked Mr. Musk to “elaborate on process of filtering bot accounts,” he replied “I picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate <5% fake/spam/duplicate.”
Mr. Musk tweeted during the early hours of Sunday that he is yet to see “any” analysis that shows that the social-media company has fake accounts less than 5 per cent.
He later said that, “There is some chance it might be over 90 per cent of daily active users.”
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As interest in electric vehicles soars, experts say they haven't quite hit the mainstream – CBC.ca
When a friend told Seymore Applebaum about the efficiency of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, he was intrigued.
Applebaum, who lives north of Toronto, was in the market for a new car. While safety features were top of mind, the high cost of gasoline couldn’t be ignored.
So in January, he traded in his sedan for a brand-new plug-in hybrid (PHEV), a vehicle that can run on both electricity and gasoline. Applebaum says he can travel almost 50 kilometres on battery power alone — more than enough to get around the city.
On a recent trip downtown, he recalled, “I drove about 45 kilometres … and the only thing I used was the electric motor and the electric battery that runs the car.”
“Normally, on a day like that, [it] would be comparable to $10, $15 of driving cost.”
Automotive industry analysts say rising gas prices have more consumers looking into electrified and electric vehicles (EVs).
Prices at the pump have soared across Canada in recent weeks. Estimates suggest Vancouver could see the country’s highest prices this weekend, potentially hitting $2.34 per litre for regular fuel. According to fuel price tracker GasBuddy, the national average as of Sunday afternoon was just below $1.98 per litre.
“Canadians are motivated by high fuel prices, but they truly believe this is the new normal,” said Peter Hatges, national automotive sector leader for KPMG in Canada, pointing a recent survey by the consulting group.
“When consumers believe it or perceive it to be true, they’re going to modify their behaviour around what kind of vehicles they buy.”
Kevin Roberts, director of industry insights and analytics for U.S.-based online vehicle marketplace CarGurus, told Cross Country Checkup he has seen a similar trend.
“As gas prices went up, interest in electric vehicles went up almost in lockstep with just a couple of days delay for both new and used vehicles,” he said.
But even as interest in electrified cars spikes, experts say too few options — and too high prices — mean they haven’t quite hit the mainstream.
Where consumers in North America favour larger vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks known for their utility, EVs tend to come in compact or sedan-style models. EV range — and the availability of chargers — are also considerations for many Canadians, said Hatges.
Ramp up production
Big investments into electrification by major automotive makers, however, are beginning to bear fruit.
A greater variety of models and sizes are coming onto the market in the coming years, the analysts say. Battery life is improving too, with several models able to travel more than 400 kilometres on a charge, according to manufacturer estimates.
“It’s absolutely a tipping point,” said Hatges. “I think there’s a confluence of factors that are pointing toward an alternative to the internal combustion engine.”
The big test for consumers will be whether manufacturers can cut prices enough to get customers in the showroom — and EVs on the road — said Grieg Mordue, associate professor and ArcelorMittal chair in advanced manufacturing policy at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.
While a handful of models start below $50,000, many run far north of that figure with some selling for over $100,000.
The sweet spot for Canadian buyers? Between $35,000 and $45,000, says Mordue. Key to hitting that price point is mass production, he added.
“We need production in North America of vehicles at that level, and we need high-volume vehicles — not little, niche vehicles where they sell 10,000 or 15,000 of them a year — because that’s a lot of the vehicles that we have now, Tesla notwithstanding,” Mordue told Checkup.
In April, GM announced a $2-billion investment, with support from the Ontario and federal governments, which will see electric vehicles rolling off assembly lines in Oshawa and Ingersoll, Ont., as early as this year.
Stellantis, which owns brands including Dodge and Jeep, is similarly investing billions into electrification at its Windsor and Brampton, Ont., plants.
Mordue cautions, however, that as plants begin producing electric models, it will take time for them to reach the existing output of gas-powered vehicles.
Focus on fuel efficiency
While interest in EVs may be gearing up, Hatges predicts a shift for gas-powered vehicles too.
“I think you’ll see a strive to make cars lighter, more fuel efficient, even when it comes to electricity,” he said. “Heavy vehicles use more power to power themselves down the road, whether it’s electricity or fuel.”
And as long as gas prices stay high, the market could see a shift from SUVs and trucks — which consumers and manufacturers have favoured in recent years — to gas-sipping models.
“We have a fascination with pickup trucks and SUVs, North Americans do, and there’s a lot of them on the road now…. I don’t see that changing any time soon,” he said.
“But in the medium term or in the immediate term, will you see a shift or reconsideration of cars that are more fuel efficient? I think so. The price in the pump is very, very significant.”
Applebaum touted the flexibility of a plug-in hybrid, saying he doesn’t worry about range at all. And though his PHEV cost more than a comparable non-electrified model, trading in his previous vehicle combined with the fuel savings over three to four years made it affordable, he said.
With gas prices now higher than they were in January, “that’s even more true,” he told Checkup.
Now, he says friends are taking notice.
“They’re saying the next car they purchase will be an electric car.”
Written by Jason Vermes with files from Abby Plener.
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