US: drivers forecasted to lower fuel usage image

According to new research coming from the US Energy Information Administration, the long-term fuel demand for transportation is expected to decline through 2040.

The need for trucks, cars, airplanes, boats, and rail is projected to decline because of changing demographics, increased fuel efficiency across all segments and the rise of alternative energy sources usage.

Back in 2012, the transportation needs, which include light and heavy-duty vehicles, accounted for 28% of all energy consumption in the United States, or 13.8 million barrels per day. Also, the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook for 2014 shows that light duty vehicle energy consumption was the main part of all transportation requirements in 2012, at 63%. The share is now forecasted to dip to as low as 51% by 2040.

The EIA forecasted the decrease as it considers the level of vehicle miles traveled, or VMTs – as a key factor contributing to the decline, as the level is forecasted to dip after 2018, proving decisive in the long-term. Also, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard in the US would be increased to 54.5 mpg by 2025, which would force the automakers to come up with highly efficient models by that time. The EIA also suggests that – after much awaited improvements in electric drive efficiency – the battery-electric vehicles, hybrid and plug-in vehicles usage would increase exponentially, finally reaching a wider usage basis.