Apr 4 • 33M

Volts podcast: Matthew Metz & Janelle London on gasoline superusers & smarter EV subsidies

Using EV subsidies to reduce gasoline consumption.

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Volts is a podcast about leaving fossil fuels behind. I've been reporting on and explaining clean-energy topics for almost 20 years, and I love talking to politicians, analysts, innovators, and activists about the latest progress in the world's most important fight. (Volts is entirely subscriber-supported. Sign up!)
Episode details

Over the last week I’ve been doing a series of podcasts about clever ways to reduce oil and gas consumption, which these days seems like a pretty patriotic thing to do. The first two were about buildings — how to make them more efficient and get them off of natural gas.

Today we’re talking about gasoline. Specifically, we’re talking about the people who use the most gasoline and how we might get them into electric vehicles (EVs).

Last year, a nonprofit called Coltura, devoted to reducing gasoline consumption, issued a report about “gasoline superusers,” a relatively small percentage of drivers who use a disproportionate amount of gasoline. It also contained a proposal for how to revise US EV subsidies to target superusers, thus displacing the maximum amount of gasoline use.

It’s an intriguing proposal, a new way to think about EV policy, so given the present geopolitical importance of reducing demand, I thought it would be a good time to kick the tires (pardon the pun). I’m excited to talk to Matthew Metz and Janelle London, the co-executive directors of Coltura, about who these superusers are, how we can best identify them, and what it would mean to scale EV subsidies in their direction.