Americans are about to spend a lot of money on gasoline. If the number crunchers at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) are correct, US drivers will spend a tidy $1.44 billion filling up for their Memorial Day travels as 31.2 million people use the long weekend to participate in the time-honored tradition of a road trip.
Almost nine out of 10 Americans (89 percent, by UCS estimates) who will travel this weekend are expected to do so by passenger car or truck and therefore will spend the equivalent of 77 million bottles of sunscreen or 300 million cones of ice cream on petroleum. That gas tab will theoretically go up a tad after that ice cream's polished off and the collective weight's put on, of course.
The holiday spending number would be cut in half if we had tomorrow's cars today. The UCS says that if we were driving the average new vehicle from 2025 – which will have an average fuel economy that's roughly twice as high today – we would be paying about $619 million less on gasoline this weekend. Which means more ice cream and sunscreen for all of us.
Check out the UCS press release below.