Prices at the pump in Charlotte and beyond have been rising and are now at their highest of the year. According to auto group AAA, however, there’s a good chance the cost of gas will start falling soon as oil prices stabilize and refineries wrap up seasonal maintenance.
As of early Tuesday, a gallon of unleaded gas in the Charlotte area is $2.562, up from $2.53 a week ago and $2.41 a month ago. Statewide, North Carolina’s gas is $2.619 a gallon, up from $2.586 one week ago and $2.461 a month ago.
South Carolina has the cheapest gas prices in the country at $2.453 a gallon.
In the U.S., a gallon of unleaded costs $2.75, which is the highest national average of the year. That price is up slightly from $2.738 a week ago and $2.607 a month ago.
According to a report from AAA Monday, gas prices have risen since January because of rising oil costs, seasonal refinery maintenance, unexpected refinery problems and the switchover to summer-blend gasoline.
Gas stations in many parts of the country switch to summer-blend gas by June 1, AAA said. This gas reduces smog and improves air quality at higher temperatures, though it costs slightly more to produce.
When oil costs even out and refineries complete their maintenance, AAA said, summertime gas prices could fall to their lowest level in six years – welcome news for millions of summertime travelers.