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Reduced fuel use by US drivers a persistent trend

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Posted April 3, 2014
Here to stay: Less fuel use by U.S. drivers
Despite U.S. population growth, fuel consumption by American drivers of light-duty vehicles is now lower than it was 15 years ago, says a University of Michigan researcher.

In a follow-up to a series of reports released last year, Michael Sivak of the U-M Transportation Research Institute examined recent trends in fuel consumption by cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and vans in the U.S. fleet from 1984 to 2012.

His findings show that 123.6 billion gallons of gasoline were consumed in 2012—down 11 percent from a peak of 138.8 billion gallons in 2004 and less than the 125.9 billion gallons used in 1999.

“The decline of 11 percent since 2004 reflects the decline in distance driven and the improvement in vehicle fuel economy,” said Sivak, a research professor at UMTRI and director of the Sustainable Worldwide Transportation research consortium.

In addition to total fuel consumption, Sivak examined fuel-consumption rates per person, per licensed driver, per household and per registered vehicle. He found that all four rates were 13-to-18 percent lower in 2012 than in their peak years (2003 for registered vehicles, 2004 for the other three measures).

Annual fuel-consumption rates for 2012 were about 394 gallons per person, 584 gallons per licensed driver, 1,021 gallons per household and 529 gallons per registered vehicle.

Read more at: Phys.org

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