gas prices chevron camino arroyo
Regular gas is shown at just under $6 a gallon at Chevron on Camino Arroyo on March 10. Photo: Erik Chalhoub

California’s average price for a gallon of gasoline is the highest in the United States, with Santa Clara County among the most expensive in the state, according to the Automobile Association of America.

As of March 9, the average price for regular gas in California was $5.57 per gallon, the highest ever recorded, according to AAA, with Santa Clara County exceeding that at $5.60.

Prices in Gilroy have kept pace with the rest of the county. Plaza Gas, 5920 Travel Park Circle, has the least expensive price as of March 9, at $4.99 a gallon for regular, according to, which tracks prices in real-time. Prices go up dramatically from there, up to $6 for regular and well over $6 for premium.

Following California is Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.

The Gilroy Dispatch reached out to its Facebook followers to see how the skyrocketing gas prices are affecting their daily lives.

Leticia Pena said she has cut down on the number of times she commutes to work in San Jose, and encourages her team to work from home as much as possible.

“Meetings from home are hard with a 2-year-old, so she stays at grandma’s in San Jose, which means I haven’t seen her a couple nights this week,” Pena said. “Can’t afford $130-plus a week in gas.”

Kathy Souza said gas prices are especially impactful now as more people return to the office as Covid-19 restrictions lessen.

“I commute 50 miles each way to the office and back home and I can’t imagine how difficult it is for those who are required to go to work five days per week,” she said. “I’m on a hybrid schedule and two to three days per week is adding up quickly financially.”

Dan Donovan suggested residents direct all their anger over prices at Russia and Belarus.

“The global supply of oil has not declined,” he said. “Uncertainty created by the invasion of Ukraine is causing the oil market to react accordingly.”

AAA said an increase in gas demand, along with a reduction in total supply, is contributing to price increases, but rising oil prices continue to play a leading role in pushing prices higher. Prices at the pump will likely continue to rise as crude prices continue to climb. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a major factor in the skyrocketing prices, analysts say.

On March 8, President Joe Biden announced the United States is banning imports of Russian oil, natural gas and coal.

The International Energy Agency recently announced a release of crude oil from 31 countries’ reserves, including the U.S., Germany, Canada, South Korea and Mexico, to help counter the impact of rising crude prices. However, it admitted that the release is small in comparison to what flows daily from Russia, which exports about five million barrels a day of crude oil globally.

Electric vehicles slow to take hold

According to U.S. Census data, Gilroy workers average a 36-minute commute one way, meaning a large amount of time spent burning gas.

The rise of electric vehicles throughout the state have been considered to be in response to the uncertainty surrounding gas prices. However, Gilroy has the lowest EV adoption rate in Santa Clara County at 2.4%, according to a December 2021 study by Silicon Valley Clean Energy, which suggests that economics may be a factor in purchasing the pricier vehicles.

A “significant” portion of EV sales in Gilroy used rebates, according to the report, while the more affluent areas, such as Saratoga and Los Gatos, were among the lowest rebate users, likely due to income caps.

While Santa Clara County has some of the highest numbers of public EV charging stations in the state, the infrastructure is not quite there in Gilroy, according to the report.

The PlugShare website, which tracks charging stations by city, estimates Gilroy has 58 stations, all of which are east of Monterey Street and most in shopping centers.

hyundai gilroy ioniq 5 fernando torres
Fernando Torres of Gilroy of Hyundai shows where drivers can plug in to charge the new Ioniq 5 electric vehicle. Photo: Erik Chalhoub

More stations are expected to come in the near future. The city plans to request construction bids for a parking lot on the corner of Seventh and Eigleberry streets downtown in April, according to City Administrator Jimmy Forbis, which is also planned to have some charging stations installed.

In addition, Hyundai of Gilroy, 6700 Automall Parkway, plans to install chargers at the dealership soon, according to Internet Sales Director Chay Herrera.

Herrera said the local market has been driven by shoppers looking to save on fuel costs with an EV or plug-in hybrid vehicle.

“We get a lot of commuters who want to save gas,” he said.

Hyundai recently introduced the Ioniq 5 electric vehicle, and with a 300-mile range per charge, Herrera said it helps assuage concerns over range anxiety that buyers had with previous EV models.

The worldwide semiconductor chip shortage, coupled with strong demand, has crippled supply for automotive dealerships across the country. Herrera said it’s been difficult to keep up with demand locally, but was hopeful that supply would improve in the coming months, pointing to Hyundai’s new EV platform that makes them easier to produce.

The California Air Resources Board breaks down the available rebates for EV purchases at

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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.


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