Gasoline is the fuel that powers our modern society. Up to 70% of the oil that is extracted from the planet is used to meet transportation needs. Every time someone hops into their vehicle to commute to work, they are contributing to the gasoline consumption statistics.
Since 1998, gasoline consumption in the United States has fallen by 75%.
This information is a little misleading in some ways. Although the US government produces the data behind government consumption, they measurement is on the amount of gasoline that enters the supply chain on a domestic basis. The actual consumption of gasoline that is purchased by consumers at their local fueling stations is not routinely measured.
- Diesel fuel accounts for 16% of the total refined petroleum products and 77% of the total distillate that is consumed in the United States.
- On-highway motor vehicles use about 75% of the total diesel fuel that is consumed.
- There are over 250 million registered vehicles in the United States right now.
- Using fuel consumption estimates based on local transportation trends, it is estimated that over 168 million gallons of fuel are consumed annually by Americans alone.
- US fossil fuel consumption is 79.71qn BTU.
- ExxonMobil’s annual revenue exceeds $420 billion.
- The relative value of America’s fossil fuel exports is over $1 trillion annually.
There is no doubt that the world is consuming a lot of gasoline. It is used in a wide variety of applications, from transportation to lawn mowers and everything in-between. In the United States, much of the goods and services that we need for daily life come from the consumption of gasoline. This has allowed the US economy to be one of the most successful in modern times, but it comes at a cost. If the gasoline supply is altered in some way, there is a direct and dramatic effect on economies down to the local level. This was seen when fuel was hitting $4-$5 per gallon. Just like a financial portfolio needs diversity for long-term success, we need to have alternatives to alter these gasoline consumptions statistics.
Why Do We All Consume So Much Gasoline?
- It took 3,202,542,000 barrels of oil to create the billions of gallons of gasoline that were consumed in the United States in 2013.
- Although gasoline consumption increased in 2013, the overall rates of consumption are lower than all previous years dating back to 2002.
- Ethanol consumption reached an all-time high in 2013 with 13.18 billion gallons consumed.
- US military contracts have gasoline per gallon rates that range from $1.99 to $5.30 per gallon.
- The military consumes about 1.2 million barrels of fuel each month at $127.68 a barrel.
- In World War II, the average fuel consumption per service member was about 1.67 gallons a day. In the recent conflict in Iraq, it was 27.3 gallons.
- Some ground-based military equipment consumes only gets 0.5 mile per gallon of fuel.
Why are all of the statistics of gasoline consumption skewed toward an overuse by Americans? You only need to look at military consumption rates to see why there are higher levels of consumption. As one of the largest defensive networks in the world, there is a daily need to consume fuel for defensive purposes. When this is combined with the average American worker’s need to commute some distance to their place of employment, you get the higher levels of gasoline consumption. In rural states like Texas especially, the consumption levels are remarkably high. This allows Americans to meet specific goals, but it also means that there are a lot of fossil fuels that are consumed in order to achieve them.
Are Americans Addicted to Using Gasoline?
- Petroleum is used in everything from lubricants to lipstick.
- The United States consumes 21 million barrels of petroleum every day.
- The United States consumes more gasoline than South America, Europe, Africa, and, Asia combined.
- There are 755 cars for every 1,000 Americans on the roads today.
- The vehicles that Americans own travel farther and require more gasoline than those of any other industrialized nation.
- Across Europe, high fuel taxes equate to gasoline prices regularly in the range of $8 per gallon.
- Fuel efficiency standards in the United States were largely ignored from 1985 to 2005.
- Only 4% of vehicles in the United States run on diesel, but over 7 billion miles are driven by Americans every day.
- Only 1 out of 5 trips an American takes requires a vehicle.
Could there be a link to the growing levels in America and the inability to travel anywhere without having a vehicle to help? Sitting behind the wheel is just as physically sedentary as sitting in front of a television screen to play video games. What Americans have lost is the ability to be active and innovative in how a journey from Point A to Point B can be achieved. This is why billions of miles are driven every day and why gasoline consumption is so high. Even small tweaks in the American system could save millions of barrels of oil every day. Maybe it doesn’t seem like our future is at stake, but what happens if those fossil fuels aren’t widely available any more? That’s a question everyone needs to start taking seriously if we are to maintain our current lifestyles.
Are Habits Starting to Change?
- According to the Energy Information Administration, every 1% decrease in personal income leads to a 0.5% reduction in gasoline consumption.
- Small-car and crossover vehicle sales are up 6.5% and 15.1% respectively while large gas consumption vehicle sales are down.
- Americans are driving millions of miles fewer daily, even if 7 billion are still driven daily.
The Great Recession of 2008 forced Americans to consider lifestyle alternatives to make ends meet. Those habits seem to have stuck. When combined with an enhanced focus on fuel efficiencies, the tide might just be turning when it comes to the gasoline consumption statistics of today.