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CA gas price consumption highest in fourth quarter since 2007

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Over the past five years, one-third to one-half of all electric plug-in cars have been purchased in California.

Over the past five years, one-third to one-half of all electric plug-in cars have been purchased in California.

The State Board of Equalization now reports fourth-quarter gas consumption is at its highest level in eight years. Part of the reason may be low gas prices.

California used 3.8 billion gallons in the last quarter of 2015, inching up from 3.7 billion gallons a year earlier. That's the most gas used since the same quarter in 2007, just before the recession began.

And as gas prices dropped and stabilized, drivers continued to drive SUV's while others decided they can afford to spend more on gas.

RELATED: Low gas prices may have negative impact on road maintenance

"I used to have a more efficient car like a Toyota Camry, but now I'm pretty much happy to buy a car that can consume more because I can actually spend that," says Jasmeet Singh, with a chuckle.

And there are more delivery trucks on the road, taking groceries and cooked food to our doorsteps.

"More packages are being delivered than ever before, especially Amazon. People aren't shopping anymore. They're having stuff delivered," said Rick Jenkins, a Gilroy resident.

State and local government benefit from higher gas consumption as its generates more excise tax revenue and sales taxes.

However, drivers might be in for a shock as the current glut of oil may end towards the end of the year. Some forecasts are projecting a deficit of oil next year as non-OPEC countries scale back production. and that will lead to higher pump prices.

"I think people with electric cars have gas vehicles as well, and then when the gas prices go up, they'll start driving those electric vehicles more," said Justin Roth who lives in San Jose.

For more stories related to gas prices, click here.

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