Across Canada, on Sunday, conservative politicians urged drivers to rush to the pumps before the carbon tax was passed at midnight.
In most cases, however, the tank economy was so small that it almost certainly did not justify the time and expense required to make a dedicated gas station trip.
Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer sent a text message to supporters, reminding them to "fill up their tank!"
He wrote Saskatchewan premier in one Post to TwitterFill your truck. The carbon tax is coming.
In Ontario, virtually the entire progressive conservative lobby posted selfies of themselves making one last fill before tax.
For dramatic effect, Deepak Anand posted a slow-motion video of the "precious moment" when he removed the nozzle from his last carbon-free fill.
On April 1, the federal carbon tax came into effect for Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick; they all refused to implement provincial carbon pricing plans. For gasoline, the tax is equivalent to 4.4 cents per liter, rising to 11 cents by 2022.
Overall, the carbon tax collected will be quite substantial, with revenue for the remainder of 2019 estimated at $ 2.3 billion, much of which should be returned in the form of rebates. However, even for cars with large gas tanks, the immediate effect is only a few dollars per fill.
Ontario MPP Amarjot Sandhu photographed himself filling a Chevy Tahoe, a vehicle with a fuel tank of approximately 98 liters. Even though he has entered the gas station because of smoke, his maximum economy is $ 4.31.
If Sandhu was planning to fill up on Sunday anyway, that's four dollars free. However, the economy gets much more distorted if drivers wait in line for the bomb or make trips dedicated to the gas station.
Canadian average time is not free.
According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian worker's time is worth $ 27.70 per hour. At that rate, any Tahoe driver who waited more than nine minutes for gasoline on Sunday would effectively waste more than $ 4.31 of their time. Even with Ontario's minimum wage of $ 14 per hour, anything longer than an 18-minute wait would be a net loss of productivity.
Tahoe also burns approximately one liter of fuel for every six miles driven. If Sandhu's trip to the gas station was more than 12 kilometers, the savings were burned when he got home.
And Chevy Tahoe has a really big tank. Canada's most popular sedan last year was the Honda Civic, a car with a capacity of 47 liters. In this case, the maximum absolute savings is only $ 2.07.
Gas prices are also so inherently volatile that in many places they actually fell on Monday morning, even when they accounted for the carbon tax.
Gasoline is priced according to four main factors: crude oil prices, refining costs, retail marking, and a battery of taxes, including HST, federal taxes, and city taxes. In Ontario, for example, drivers already pay a province-specific rate of 14.7 cents per liter.
Even when the carbon tax was added, other factors, such as a lower wholesale price or a reduction in post-weekend retail, may, however, have allowed the price to fall.
Scheer photographed himself filling at 115.9 in what is presumably an Ottawa gas station. On Monday, GasBuddy.com data showed that Ottawa gas could be consumed by only 106.9.
Lorne Coe, from MPP to Whitby, photographed herself filling at 115.6. Monday morning, some Whitby gas stations had prices at 113.9.
Greg Rickford, MPP of the Kenora-Rainy River, noted that prices were rising even without extra taxes. On the day before the carbon tax, prices rose spontaneously from 119.9 to 129.9.
In fact, prices rose at many stations after the carbon tax entry, but it was generally by a much higher factor than the carbon tax.
MPB Billy Pang of Markham-Unionville stayed until midnight to pick up the price change on Monday. In an instant, the price went from 108.9 to 124.9.
While Pang attributed this to the "impact of the New Federal Tax on Carbon," 11.6 cents of the price increase is still due to owners of gas stations, refinery and fluctuations in the world oil market.