Poten's Weekly Opinion: Are We There Yet?

Jun 03 2021

The summer driving season in the U.S. is about to start.

Traditionally, the upcoming Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the summer driving season in the U.S. For a variety of reasons (weather, summer road trips, school vacations, etc.), Americans tend to drive more in the summer than in the winter, and this year, we have the added dimension of the country coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of the movement restrictions and mask requirements have been lifted across the United States in recent weeks (in particular for the people that are vaccinated) and the expectation is that it is going to be busy on the road.


Many Americans will be travelling this weekend (and this summer) to take the trips that they postponed during the pandemic. A lingering impact of Covid-19 is that the overwhelming majority of people will drive their own car this weekend, rather than use more “public” modes of transportation such as planes or trains. The growth in Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) over the summer will closely match the growth in gasoline demand rather than electricity demand, because, despite the continued growth in sales of electric vehicles, they still only represent less than 2% of passenger cars in the U.S.


Will all this driving and associated gasoline demand have any impact on the tanker market?


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