The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects fuel consumption by light duty vehicles to decline 12% between 2017 and 2025 as Obama-era fuel economy standards make their way through the nation’s automobile fleet.
“Based on the more stringent fuel economy standards covering model years through 2025 that have already been established, new on-road vehicle fuel economy for passenger cars is projected to increase 43% between 2015 and 2025, from 31 mpg [miles per gallon] in 2015 to 45 mpg,” the agency reports. “New on-road light truck fuel economy is projected to increase 46% over the same period, from 21 mpg to 31 mpg.”
The EIA model shows the drop in fuel consumption, even though vehicle miles travelled (VMT) increase 5% over the same period. “Nearly all of this energy consumption is gasoline, with gasoline consumption by light-duty vehicles projected to fall from 8.7 million barrels per day in 2017 to 7.5 million barrels per day in 2025.”
The agency notes that U.S. VMT hit a new high last year, at a jaw-dropping 2.84 trillion miles. “As the number of miles driven per vehicle has remained relatively steady at about 12,000 miles per vehicle, the recent increase in vehicle miles traveled is more attributable to an increase in the number of vehicles in use,” EIA notes. “Light-duty vehicle miles traveled per year are expected to continue to increase, ultimately reaching 3.33 trillion miles traveled in 2040.”