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Gas prices drop as supply rises, due to San Diegans driving less and buying electric cars

In June, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded hit a high of $6.37. On Monday, the average was $5.57.

SAN DIEGO — Gas prices across San Diego County have been slowly dropping over the past two months.

In June, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded hit a high of $6.37. On Monday, the average was $5.57.

“That is down 13 cents from just a week ago and down 66 cents from a month ago,” said Doug Shupe with AAA of Southern California.

Shupe says the drop is simple economics, supply and demand. Prices got so high that people started driving less. Now there's so much gas available that the oil companies are lowering prices.

“People are making adjustments to their daily routes. We're seeing people driving less, using public transit more, or bicycling more or carpooling more,” said Shupe.

Gas prices are traditionally all over the place this time of year on August 1, 2012, the average was $3.82.

Six years later it was considerably cheaper at $2.75 a gallon. But last year prices spiked to $4.32 on August 1st.

While the price of unleaded is going down, unfortunately that’s not the case for diesel. Trucks that deliver items to stores are paying more to fill up and the costs are being passed on to consumers.

“The entire American economy runs on diesel,” said Charles Langley with the non-profit, Public Watchdogs.

Langley adds that there’s no good reason for diesel prices to be this high.

“Diesel is one of the easiest fuels to refine. It involves the least amount of work, and it doesn't have as much regulation as gasoline,” said Langley.

The problem is that oil companies know they can charge whatever they want for diesel and get it. But the same is not true for unleaded gasoline because drivers are finally saying enough is enough.

They are buying electric cars in record numbers.

“For the first time in history, there's competition from electric vehicles,” Langley said.

Because of that, Langley believes gas prices should continue to drop, but experts warn that all it takes is one unexpected event, like a hurricane, for supply to drop and prices to shoot back up.

So, they say it's hard to predict how low prices will go and how long they'll stay there.

WATCH RELATED: Gas prices slightly fall, will the trend last? (June 2022)

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