Gas Prices Aren’t Driving Comparison Searches
One might think the rise in US gas prices would spur people to race to the Web for pricing information and hybrid car details. One would be wrong to think these things.
The doubling of gas prices over the past few weeks has people angry about seeing otherwise disposable income shift from their pockets to their gas tanks. Yet every other car on the road appears bigger than the average post-World War II starter home.
If people are concerned about gas prices, or alternative vehicles like hybrids, Hitwise analyst LeeAnn Prescott isn’t seeing it:
When prices first spiked in after Hurricane Katrina in September 2005, people went online to find the cheapest gas stations in the area and find out more about fuel economy, at sites like GasBuddy.com and FuelEconomy.gov. Now it seems inevitable – saving a dollar or two doesn’t seem worth the cost of driving a few extra miles.
The oil companies and the traders who have been gleefully bidding up oil prices over the past month have the upper hand. It’s their world, and we’d better be happy just to drive in it.
We must be pretty happy. Searches for ‘gas prices’ and ‘hybrid cars’ for the week ending May 12, 2007 were respectively 92% and 82% lower than it was during the week ending September 3, 2005, according to Prescott.
If the conspiracy theorists can be believed, we’ll see gas prices fall before the next Presidential and Congressional elections. OpenSecrets can tell you more about who’s enjoying oil & gas money ahead of those elections, in case anyone was wondering why America doesn’t have an intelligent energy plan yet.