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Metro Vancouver gas prices begin climb to $2 per litre mark yet again

Gas prices across Metro Vancouver are climbing towards the $2 per litre mark again, which one expert says is connected to debt concerns in the U.S. Gas prices across Metro Vancouver are climbing towards the $2 per litre mark again, which one expert says is connected to debt concerns in the U.S.

Lower Mainland gas prices saw a significant jump Thursday morning, climbing by about four cents per litre.

Drivers in Metro Vancouver were forced to pay an average of 193.9 cents per litre, though it did vary from station to station.

For a compact car, that works out to be about $95 for a full tank.

Prices are expected to climb an additional four cents on Friday, inching toward the $2 litre mark yet again.

The rapidly rising prices are due to tight supply and high demand

“Compared to this time last year, when we were approaching $2.50 per litre here in Vancouver, it's a bit of a bargain,” said Dan McTeague, a petroleum analyst for the price prediction website

McTeague warns that drivers will likely to pay another 20 cents a litre this summer.

“The only thing holding back prices from really moving up and creating a bit of a price spike is negotiations and ongoing concern about the U.S. reaching the debt ceiling,” said McTeague.

He says markets are nervous, but if the issue is resolved, prices will shoot back up again.

The highest price ever recorded in the Lower Mainland was 241.9 a litre set last September. McTeague doesn’t expect we will see extreme highs like that, but predicts consistently expensive prices.

“I think we're going to see a price shock. But it won't be in terms of the high price, it'll be actually sustained higher prices in the $2.20 range for a much longer period of time. Likely extending from, I would say, at the beginning of June all the way into the first or second week of October,” McTeague told CTV News.

Metro Vancouver drivers consistently pay some of the highest prices in North America.

“(It’ll be) an expensive summer—buckle up and remember that demand is extraordinarily high, not just in Canada, but south of the border. People are taking back to the roads. Yes, prices are more expensive, but it's been a long time. A lot of people want to get back to some semblance of what used to be considered normal when it came to summertime drives and trips that we would take during that period of time,” said McTeague.

Metro Vancouver is very susceptible to price spikes because it gets most of its fuel from the U.S. and through the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Therefore, the region is significantly impacted when a refinery goes offline.

To save money, experts suggest filling up outside areas served by TransLink, where prices are about 20 cents per litre lower.

Stations also tend to forego the eight cent retail margin on the weekends and in the evening.

Ensuring your car is well maintained will allow your car to get as much mileage as possible.

“Air conditioning should be used only when you need to. Rolling down the windows creates drag at higher speeds,” said McTeague.

Tire pressure maintenance, oil changes and ensuring you’re using the proper fuel are also important.

“I think it's critical for people to understand, you're going to see a drop in your fuel mileage this summer beginning now, in order to respond to the federal government's Clean Fuel Standard, which is already in place in British Columbia and costing you about 18 cents a litre. Refineries are now increasingly having to use a lot more ethanol to increase the amount of ethanol per gasoline to meet those emission targets,” explained McTeague.

He says that will decrease fuel efficiency and mileage by five to 10 per cent. Top Stories

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