The electrification of automobiles has been picking up pace recently, with various countries and manufacturers setting targets for an electric- or electric/hybrid- only future.

If these plans come to fruition and are widely adopted, the demand for gasoline, and therefore its supply, would decrease considerably. While avgas is something of a specialty product, I would guess that it shares the bulk of its components, and their manufacture, with automobile gasoline.

Have there been any studies of the consequences of this change on the inflation-adjusted cost and its supply of avgas (though I imagine it will be available at some price), and also on motor gas for those aircraft that can use it?

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    $\begingroup$ While I think this is an interesting question, it's probably worth noting that especially personal transport by car is not the only place where motor vehicle-quality gasoline is used. Sure, it's a major part of the market, but not the only one. Also, it seems likely to me that both pure gasoline or diesel, as well as hybrid gasoline/electric, cars will be a part of the market (but perhaps a much smaller part of the new from the factory cars market than today) for a significant time to come. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Oct 12, 2017 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ There is also a push to move GA aircraft to Diesel (or Jet-A) which isn't going anywhere (not for a long time at least). If that happens, avgas will become rarer and older aircraft may become even more expensive to fly. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Oct 12, 2017 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ Crude oil contains a bunch of fractions, and the refinery has no choice which fractions they get. They can't transmute the "good for gasoline" fractions into the "good for diesel" fractions, so if they are trying to make diesel they'll get a whole lot of gasoline as a waste product. Their only other choice would be to "burn it off" (in boilers to make process steam)... but the government doesn't like burning stuff needlessly... so the gov't will force them to produce gasoline for your Red Barchetta. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2021 at 1:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Harper Firstly, note that the electrification of road transport is likely to diminish the demand for diesel as well, and also that a lot of gasoline is created by cracking: the ratio of refinery products today is far removed from what is in the crude. Nevertheless, you may have a point that gasoline becomes, once again, a side-product with more supply than demand, depending on what other uses there are for light fractions. $\endgroup$
    – sdenham
    Jun 18, 2021 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


I have not seen any studies on this, nor would I expect to as Avgas is such a niche product and the price of it is not heavily dependent on the price of the underlying fuel itself. If you look at this answer the reason avgas is so expensive is that it has special requirements for making it, storing and transporting it and so little is produced that there's no economy of scale.

In any case your question is based on the premise that gasoline production is going to decrease. Even with the rise of electric cars most oil companies aren't forecasting a drop in gasoline demand until the 2030s, maybe even the 2040s as the increase in demand for new cars will oustrip the number of electic cars for some time. As a decline in consumption does not guarantee a price rise, any forecasts of this kind would be premature, and not likely to be reliable.


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