Chicago, IL

Many Americans will hit the road this Memorial Day despite sky-high gas prices

Jennifer Geer

A recent survey from Cars.com found that 82% of Americans traveling over Memorial Day will choose to drive to their destinations. Many will carpool or drive an electric car to help save money.

(CHICAGO) If your plans for this Memorial Day weekend include a road trip, you're not alone. The car shopping website headquartered in Chicago, Cars.com, released a survey showing 82% of Americans planning a trip this weekend will go by car. Travel overall, including flying, is up by 8%.

According to the survey, some travelers will offset the extra expense by carpooling or driving an electric vehicle.

What are gas prices today?

AAA shows the average gas price in the nation sits at $4.59. A 34% increase from this time last year.

What's the average gas price in Illinois?

Prices are a bit higher in Illinois than the national average. The average cost of gas for the state is $4.97, up 35% from last year. Drivers in the Chicago Metro area are paying $5.19, a 35% increase from one year ago.

Many will carpool or drive an electric vehicle.

Although there will be a lot of cars on the road (AAA is predicting 1.9 million Illinois drivers), many will be carpooling or driving electric vehicles. According to the survey, 87% of road trippers plan to travel with others, with 51% of those saying it's due to high gas prices. Also, 11% of car drivers will be using electric vehicles.

Jenni Newman, Cars.com's editor-in-chief, said in a press release, "Record-high gas prices aren't scaring away as many avid road trippers this Memorial Day as one would think. It seems many Americans are willing to pay a premium to take some time off and celebrate the holiday. But the nature of the road trip is changing: Carpooling is no longer just for work and school commutes, and routes and destinations are being shaped by the availability of EV infrastructure for a growing number of travelers."

Government rebates help consumers buy electric cars

Electric vehicles are becoming more widespread, with government rebates making them easier to afford. Illinois residents will be eligible for tax rebates on all-electric vehicles of $4,000 starting July 1, 2022. Electric and hybrid cars are currently eligible for tax credits from the federal government of up to $7,500.

However, electric car drivers must plan their trips around charging stations. Newman said, "An EV road trip means more than just relief at the pump; it adds a whole new element to the trip, including accounting for charging opportunities across a country that's still building up its EV infrastructure."

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

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