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Energy Consumption by Mode of Transportation

Notes: 

The following conversion rates were used:

Jet fuel = 135,000 Btu/gallon.

Aviation gasoline = 120,200 Btu/gallon.

Automotive gasoline = 125,000 Btu/gallon.

Diesel motor fuel = 138,700 Btu/gallon.

Compressed natural gas = 138,700 Btu/gallon.

Distillate fuel = 138,700 Btu/gallon.

Residual fuel = 149,700 Btu/gallon.

Natural gas = 1,031 Btu/ft3.

Electricity  1kWh = 3,412 Btu, negating electrical system losses. To include approximate electrical system losses, multiply this conversion factor by 3.

1 Btu = 1.055056 kilojoule.

Description: 

KEY: Btu = British thermal unit; N = data does not exist; R = revised; U = data is unavailable.

a Domestic operations only.

b Includes fuel used in air taxi operations, but not commuter operations. The values for energy consumption by general aviation in 2012 are estimated values.

c Data for 2007-12 were calculated using a new methodology developed by FHWA. Data for these years are based on new categories and are not comparable to previous years. The new category Light duty vehicle, short wheel base includes passenger cars, light trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles with a wheelbase (WB) equal to or less than 121 inches. The new category Light duty vehicle, long wheel base includes large passenger cars, vans, pickup trucks, and sport/utility vehicles with wheelbases (WB) larger than 121 inches. In addition, this edition of table 4-06 is not comparable to previous editions.

d 1965 data includes other 2-axle 4-tire vehicles.

e Data from 1997-2013 are not comparable to data before 1997 due to different sources. Prior to 1984, excludes commuter rail, automated guideway, ferryboat, demand responsive vehicles, and most rural and smaller systems.

f Diesel includes Diesel and Bio-Diesel.

g Gasoline and all other nondiesel fuels include Gasoline, Liquified Petroleum Gas, Liquified Natural Gas, Methane, Ethanol, Bunker Fuel, Kerosene, Grain Additive, and Other Fuel.

Source: 

Air:

Certificated air carriers:

1960-2014:  U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Office of Airline Information, Fuel Cost and Consumption, available at http://www.transtats.bts.gov/fuel.asp as of Mar. 24, 2016.

General aviation:

1960-70: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, FAA Statistical Handbook of Aviation - 1972 edition (Washington, DC:  1973), table 9.12.

1975-93: Ibid., General Aviation and Air Taxi Activity Survey (Washington, DC:  Annual Issues), table 5.1, and similar tables in earlier editions.

1994-2014: Ibid., FAA Aerospace Forecasts Fiscal Years 2015-2035 (Washington, DC: 2015), tables 23 and 31, and similar tables in earlier editions, available at http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/apl/aviation_fo... as of Mar. 24, 2016.

Highway:

1960-94: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics, Summary to 1995, FHWA-PL-97-009 (Washington, DC:  July 1997), table VM-201A, available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohpi/hss/hsspubs.cfm as of June 29, 2010.

1995-2014: Ibid., Highway Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table VM-1, available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics.cfm as of Mar. 24, 2016.

Transit:

Electricity / motor fuel / compressed natural gas:

1960-96: American Public Transportation Association, 2009 Public Transportation Fact Book (Washington, DC: June 2009), tables 26, 27, 28 and similar tables in earlier editions. 

1997-2014: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, National Transportation Database, table 17 and similar tables in previous years, available at www.ntdprogram.gov as of Mar. 24, 2016.

Rail:

1960-2014: Association of American Railroads, Railroad Facts (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), p. 43.

Amtrak:

1975-2014: National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), Energy Management Department and Government Affairs Department, personal communications, Apr. 27, 2011, May 8, 2013, Aug. 20, 2014, Spet. 11, 2015 and Jun. 20, 2016.

Water:

Residual and distillate / diesel fuel oil:

1960-80: American Petroleum Institute, Basic Petroleum Data Book (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), tables 10, 10a, 12, and 12a.

1985-2014 U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Fuel Oil and Kerosene Sales (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), available at http://www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/fuel_oil_and_... as of Mar. 24, 2016.

Gasoline:

1970-2014: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table MF-24 and similar tables in earlier editions, available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohpi/hss/hsspubs.cfm as of Mar. 24, 2016.

Pipeline:

1960-2014: U.S. Department of Energy, Natural Gas Annual, DOE/EIA-0131(04) (Washington, DC), table 15 and similar tables in earlier editions, available at http://www.eia.doe.gov/natural_gas/data_publications/natural_gas_annual/... as of Mar. 24, 2016.