Good news is on the horizon for the 49 million or so Americans traveling by automobile this week for Thanksgiving. Gasoline prices across the country stand to be similar to or lower than they were for the holiday week last year, according to the American Automobile Association.
As of Monday, the national average for regular gasoline was $2.59 per gallon; that was slightly above the $2.57 average for the 2018 holiday weekend. The best news: More relief could be on the way. “During Thanksgiving week last year we saw the national gas price average decrease a nickel between Monday and Thursday, that could be the case again this year,” AAA spokeswoman Jeanette Casselano says.
As for the reason behind the expected price breaks, it’s not the holiday spirit. Rather, it’s the old law of supply and demand. The nation’s supply of gas stocks is up. According to the federal Energy Information Administration, U.S. gas stocks grew by 1.8 million barrels. Meanwhile, demand fell from 9.32 million barrels per day to 9.12 million b/d.
Despite the good news for gasoline-powered motorists, refueling is cheaper for electric-vehicle drivers. The U.S. Department of Energy has developed a measure called an eGallon to compare the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity compared with a similar vehicle that uses gasoline. The DOE calculates how much electricity the most popular electric vehicles would need to travel the same distance as similar model gasoline-powered cars. That amount of electricity is then multiplied by the average cost of electricity in the state.
The average eGallon cost in the U.S. is $1.21, less than half the average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline.