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