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Vehicles & System Efficiency

The transportation sector consumes approximately 28% of all end-use energy in the United States. While significant advances have been made recently to improve the overall efficiency of the sector, particularly with regards to fuel economy, the opportunity for further fuel savings still exists. Technical improvements in vehicles and reasonable government policies that encourage vehicle efficiency could substantially reduce energy consumption in the transportation sector.

However, vehicle improvements will not be able to capture the full potential for energy efficiency  without sound policies that slow the rate of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) across the country. VMT is expected to grow at an annual rate of 1.4%, quickly outpacing population growth in the United States. Strategies such as Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance and incentives to encourage compact, transit-oriented development are critical to achieve maximum fuel savings from transportation. 

Image Source: Fairfax County, Flickr Creative Commons

  • Meeting the challenges of oil dependence and global warming calls for big changes in the way our cars are powered. Today automotive technology is blossoming, and dramatically different vehicle...
  • Fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles have improved dramatically in recent years. The original Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars were adopted in 1975 and went...
  • The high cost of advanced technology, fuel-efficient vehicles is a key barrier to their entry into the market place. Financial incentives have proven to be one of the more effective ways to...
  • Efforts to minimize tailpipe pollution and reduce oil consumption target fleets because they represent a concentration and level of planning that are missing for personal vehicles. Fleets are often...
  • Freight trucks are responsible for almost 20% of all transportation-related fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Our current freight system ensures that economic...
  • Trucks and buses exceeding 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight rating consume 2.8 million barrels of petroleum fuels daily, or 20 percent of total transportation fuel use. Their fuel consumption is...
  • Fuel economy and emissions standards are not the only components to consider when addressing transportation sector energy use in the long term. U.S.highway vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) is projected...
  • Freight trucks are responsible for almost 20% of all transportation-related fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Our current freight system ensures that economic...
  • Trucks and buses exceeding 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight rating consume 2.8 million barrels of petroleum fuels daily, or 20 percent of total transportation fuel use. Their fuel consumption is...
  • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee reported out the American Clean Energy Leadership Act (ACELA) on June 17, 2009. This bill served as a counterpart to the energy provisions in H....
  • On May 12, 2010, after months of deliberation, Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Lieberman (I-CT), with input from Senator Graham (R-SC), introduced a discussion draft of comprehensive climate change...
  • H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES), was passed by the House of Representatives on June 26, 2009 but did not become law due to inaction in the Senate. This...
  • Fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles have improved dramatically in recent years. The original Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars were adopted in 1975 and went...
  • Efforts to minimize tailpipe pollution and reduce oil consumption target fleets because they represent a concentration and level of planning that are missing for personal vehicles. Fleets are often...
  • Freight trucks are responsible for almost 20% of all transportation-related fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Our current freight system ensures that economic...
  • The high cost of advanced technology, fuel-efficient vehicles is a key barrier to their entry into the market place. Financial incentives have proven to be one of the more effective ways to...
  • Trucks and buses exceeding 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight rating consume 2.8 million barrels of petroleum fuels daily, or 20 percent of total transportation fuel use. Their fuel consumption is...

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