Transportation: Cars: Average Fuel Consumption per car

The average annual number of gallons of gasoline for all vehicles in the United States.
The average annual number of gallons of gasoline for all vehicles in the United States.  

Related "Issue of the Day" Entries

Components of Gas Prices
Published Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

The price of gas in the last 48 days has risen $0.61 or 30.3% on average nationwide to set a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline to $2.669 on Monday. This comes as global events pull crude lower to $70 a barrel. Crude has had a rollercoaster ride with global events such as protests in Iran and sabotage in the Niger Delta; the World’s Reserve Currency and OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) have stated that $75-80 per barrel is a fair level.

From each barrel of crude, a refinery produces 19.15 gallons of gasoline, 9.21 gallons of diesel, and 16.32 gallons of various other products.  In 2007, the cost of crude oil only contributed 58% to the price of gas per gallon at the pump; this is 10 percent higher than previous years.  The refining cost — up 1% from the previous 7 years — contributed 17% to the average distribution cost of a gallon of regular. Distribution, marketing and retail dealer costs and profits in 2007 were 10% of the gasoline price, which is down from the 2000-2007 average of 12%. The demand for gas in the US, another factor in the price per gallon, is driven by a steady increase in the monthly vehicle mileage. Given slow rise in vehicle fuel efficiency, the US consumption of gasoline has, since 1980, remained about 700 gallons per year or a consumption of 9 million of barrels of crude oil a day.

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Alternative Fuel Vehicles Main Issue for Detroit
Published Monday, December 1st, 2008

After being turned down last month, today is the day that lawmakers hear the Big 3’s bailout proposal to congress that deals with the many issues confronting Congress and the Nation.  Some of those issues are the advancement of alternative fuel for the environment, high mileage vehicles to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and engineering excellence to increase product endurance.  These issues are also the focus of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act which gave the Department of Energy the money and mandate to retool and refocus the auto industry to meet new standards such as 35 MPG, which would increase overall fuel efficiency by 40%.

Data regarding U.S. vehicle performance suggest that Americans are driving nearly 2000 miles more and the average consumption of gasoline has remained steady for the last 38 years.  This points to the higher Miles Per Gallon ratings for new cars and trucks.  yet, the Department of Energy’s data states that the average MPG has not risen as dramatically as we might think.  In 38 years, there has been a gradual 6-10 mile per gallon increase in MPG rating for all personnel vehicles, the average today is 26.7mpg.  To tackle the issues above, automakers have increased the percentage of alternative and high mileage vehicles made in the US from 2.9% in 1995 to 13.1% in 2006.

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Learn More

U.S. Department of Energy: Fuel Economy -
Only about 15% of the energy from the fuel you put in your tank gets used to move your car down the road or run useful accessories, such as air conditioning. The rest of the energy is lost to engine and driveline inefficiencies and idling. Therefore, the potential to improve fuel efficiency with advanced technologies is enormous.

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Fuel Economy: Gas Mileage Guide -
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) produce the Fuel Economy Guide to help car buyers choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets their needs.