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Get ready for a gas shortage this summer as the supply chain hits the pumps

Finally, many people have completed their vaccination cycles, and more Americans are feeling better about getting back into the world. It’s almost summer and I do not know about you, but I’m planning to expand the car trip I drove last July from Austin, Texas, to Elkhart, Indiana. And I think a hybrid with large serial numbers (like a Lexus LC 500h with 600 miles to a tank) would be a smart choice, as industry insiders predict a gas shortage.

Partly due to the pandemic, fuel companies are facing a shortage of tanker drivers. The net result is that between 20 and 25 percent of tankers in the fleet are inactive, according to National Tank Truck Carriers (via CNN Business), which means that less fuel can be transported to petrol stations across the country. Driving schools closed for a while last year and they encrypted to rebuild the gap, but truck driver jobs have generally been harder to fill in recent years.

To drive a tanker full of fuel, a driver must not only earn a commercial driver̵

7;s license; they must complete weeks of training. Trips are shorter than those required for long-distance cars, but pulling gas has its own set of challenges. I mean getting behind the wheel of a giant flammable tank has to be incredibly stressful.

If this shortage turns out to be how the predictions are managed, you can expect gas storage that can be just as frustrating as the toilet paper shortage the country experienced earlier in the pandemic. Storing gas cans in your home also requires some precautions: Exxon recommends storing gasoline on its website at room temperature, out of the sun, and away from potential heat sources such as a hot water tank, a space heater, or an oven. And be sure to keep it at least 50 feet away from your pilot light.

Electric cars and plug-ins look pretty good right now, right? Do not be surprised to see that many more charging stations are popping up very soon.

What are your summer plans? Comment here or send the author a note: kristin.shaw@thedrive.com

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