Source: BTS, National Transportation Statistics. Light duty vehicle,
short wheel base: passenger cars, light trucks, vans and sport
utility vehicles with a wheelbase equal to or less than 121
inches. Light duty vehicle, long wheel base: large passenger
cars, vans, pickup trucks, and sport/utility vehicles with
wheelbases larger than 121 inches.
Energy Consumption by Road Transportation in the United States,
1970-2012 (in Trillion BTUs)
In terms of energy consumption by the road sector an important trend
concerns the decline of the share attributed to the automobile and
other light duty vehicles.
This is attributed to
better fuel economy, but the most significant
explanation relates to a shift in consumers preferences towards sports
utility vehicles and other light trucks. This type of vehicle
accounted for almost as much energy consumption than the automobile, while essentially
servicing the same type of mobility demand. However, since 2010 this
share declined in part because of higher petroleum prices.
Improvements in fuel economy and lower levels of economic growth
are the main factors behind the decline of the energy
consumption by the road transport sector after 2005.