At a Sheetz station in Christiansburg Tuesday, we paid $4.49.99 a gallon for premium gas for Amy’s car — a price that is less than what Express Mart of currently charging for a gallon of regular without Ethanol in Floyd.
Gas prices for regular gas have dropped below $4.00 a gallon in Floyd over the last couple of days but the prices for midrange, non-ethanol, and premium is much higher than what mainline stations like Shell, Exxon, BP and others want.
Why? We have asked often but while the answers are usually different, they seldom make sense. “Depends on volume,” is one answer. So is “depends on whether we are in or out of the town limits,” is another. Another simply shrugged and said: “Because we can.”
Many of us ride motorcycles that require premium gas. So does Amy’s 13-year-old Mini Cooper. Ironically, her motorcycle, a Can-Am Spyder, runs on regular. On Wednesday, while in Roanoke for some imaging tests for Amy, an Exxon on Williamson Road was charging $3.74 a gallon for regular. Another Exxon, on Rte. 419 (Electric Road) wanted $3.84 a gallon. Sheetz charged $4.15 a gallon for premium, more than 30 cents a gallon less than what we paid for the same grade in Christiansburg three days earlier and less than a dollar more than what most stations in Floyd want.
Take a short drive down Woolwine Mountain to Howell’s Grocery, you can save 20 cents a gallon for regular and 35 cents a gallon for ethanol-free. Granted, they don’t have to pay the extra taxes for I-81 upkeep, but Roanoke and Christiansburg do and they still charge less than the Floyd stations.
Buy local? Not likely, not at the prices being charged in Floyd.