As of today, the average gallon of gasoline in the United States is $2.06. It is even much less in some regions of the country. In New Jersey, drivers are spending only $1.69 a gallon. That is the lowest cost to fuel a car since 2009.
Diesel prices have also seen a drop with the average at $3.09 a gallon, down 83 cents from the same week a year ago.
Americans are saving millions of dollars each week on fuel costs. But if history tells us anything, we should not expect it to last. Fuel prices are highly volatile. Companies would be wise not to make important decisions based on their current low fuel bills. That is especially true of firms that have programs designed to reduce their energy spend. Now is not the time to change course.
I recently visited Burris Logistics, a company that has made it a mission to reduce its fuel consumption significantly. Working with Ryder, Burris has redesigned its trucks, including modifications in engine design, gear ratios, and automatic transmissions to reduce fuel usage. They have also changed the body designs of the cabs and trailers to make them more aerodynamic and able to slice through the wind. They have added low resistance tires and mud flaps that allow air, but not road spray to pass through them. All of these innovations have increased the miles per gallon on Burris trucks by 50 percent since the campaign began.
My hope is that companies such as Burris do not stop innovating, even though diesel prices have dropped. The fuel nirvana we are now experiencing will not last. Innovations will still provide a reasonable return on investment, now and in the future.