What a difference a year makes. Greater Victoria motorists were filling up at the pump for $1.48 a litre in April 2021, blissfully unaware that just a year later they would consider themselves lucky if they could find a litre for under two bucks.
Most stations around Victoria were selling regular gas at $1.94.9 a litre on March 31, with motorists able to save 10 cents a litre if they were willing to make the drive out to Costco in Langford. According to gasbuddy.com, that’s even higher than the $1.89.9 seen at most stations around the Lower Mainland, while drivers in Prince George forked over $1.93.9 and Vernon drivers enjoyed the downright bargain price of $1.75.9 per litre.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February sent global crude prices soaring and resulted in some drivers paying upwards of $2.20 per litre of gas in Metro Vancouver, despite the fact that Russian oil makes up a small fraction of Canadian energy imports.
The skyrocketing prices at the pump prompted Premier John Horgan to announce that B.C. drivers will receive a one-time rebate from ICBC of up to $110 for individuals and $165 for commercial drivers.
“Those prices at the pump are a direct result of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” Horgan said. “But British Columbians still need to move around. We have a robust public transportation network in our urban centres, but large parts of British Columbia still rely on single-occupancy vehicles to get around.”
The gasoline sticker shock also had many considering a switch to electric vehicles.
Ben Jillings, finance manager at Victoria Hyundai, said they’ve been taking EV/hybrid orders at about double the rate they normally would since the end of February. They took 85 in the four days leading up to March 15 alone.
“We’ve seen some ridiculous increases,” he said.
How are you handling the financial pain at the pumps? Are you driving less, consider a switch to electric? Take our poll and let us know.
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