he price of diesel in Perth will reach a new record high for the fifth day in a row on Sunday, averaging a staggering 217.2c a litre across the city.

As the price of unleaded begins to creep downwards after also hitting record highs this week, the cost of filling up with diesel continues to soar.

At Coles Express in Canning Vale tomorrow, diesel will reach the eye-watering price of 231.9 c per litre — almost a dollar higher than the average price for a litre of diesel in March last year.

The average price of unleaded petrol topped $2.12 per litre this week, with diesel not far behind at $2.06, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent global oil markets into a frenzy.

Brent crude reached a near record high US$130 per barrel earlier this week before moderating to $US110 – although that still remains well above the past decade average of around US$83.

And the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and long-term impact of bans on Russian oil and gas exports by the US and the UK, are now sparking warnings petrol could average well above $2.20 per litre for months.

Those skyrocketing prices are prompting a growing number of West Australians to ditch the combustion engine in favour of electric bikes, scooters and cars.

E-Go Electric Bikes owner Neville Tierney said business — already booming in the midst of the pandemic — had jumped a further 25 per cent since the start of the year as petrol prices have marched upwards.

“In the past couple of weeks especially we’ve seen more and more people worried about petrol and trying to stick within the family budget,” Mr Tierney said.

“Some have been looking at parking or selling one of the family cars because the used car market is quite buoyant and there is in an opportunity to cash-in.”

Commuter e-bikes — which retail for between $1700 and $2500 — boast ranges of up to 80km and have become increasingly popular for city workers especially.

Veteran car salesman John Hughes said although electric cars were not “flying off the shelves” there had “absolutely” been an increase in inquiries in recent months.

“There is no doubt that (the cost of petrol) will create a lot more interest in electric and also to a lesser degree hybrid vehicles,” Mr Hughes said.

“Have I noticed a significant increase yet? No, but I believe we will.

“And if this petrol price continues to rise we certainly will. I think it will develop and grow over the next few weeks.

“I also think there’ll be a lot of people trading in six-cylinder vehicles or bigger vehicles for four-cylinder vehicles — there’ll be a trend to that as well.

“(Electric cars) are still relatively expensive and they’re hard to get like everything else today — you can’t buy a new car anywhere without a minimum four to six-month timeframe for it to arrive.”

Mr Tierney said the long wait for new cars to arrive was another factor that had prompted a big number of West Australians to investigate e-bikes as an alternative.

Extracted in full from: Perth petrol prices: Diesel to break record for fifth day running as e-bike sales boom | PerthNow

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