The Amount of Energy Used for Transportation ALONE.

All together, we drive our cars, motorcycles, trucks, and buses about 3 trillion miles per year. Combined, gasoline and diesel make up 84% of all of the energy used for transportation.

America is a Nation on the move! About 28% of the energy we use goes to transporting people and goods from one place to another.

Cars, vans, and buses are commonly used to carry people. Trucks, airplanes, and trains can be used to carry people and freight. Barges and pipelines only carry freight. In 2007, there were 249 million vehicles (cars, buses, and trucks) in the United States — more than three motor vehicles for every four people.

Automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, and buses traveled just over 3.0 trillion miles in the United States in 2007. That’s almost one-twelfth the distance to the nearest star beyond the solar system. It’s like driving to the sun and back 13,440 times.

Types of Energy Used for Transportation

Gasoline is used mainly by cars, motorcycles, and light trucks; diesel is used mainly by heavier trucks, buses, and trains. Together, gasoline and diesel make up 84% of all the energy used in transportation.

There is currently a push to develop vehicles that run on blended fuels or fuels other than petroleum products. Today, there are some vehicles that run on electricity, natural gas, propane, and ethanol.

Hybrid-electric vehicles combine the benefits of gasoline engines and electric motors by reducing the amount of fuel required to move a vehicle. This is why hybrid-electric vehicles can get more miles per gallon of gasoline compared to vehicles that run on gasoline alone.

Energy Use By Type of Vehicle

Automobiles are the most common mode of transportation in the United States. Personal vehicles (like cars and light trucks) consume 60% of the total energy used for transportation, while commercial vehicles (like large trucks and construction vehicles), mass transit (like airplanes, trains, and buses), and pipelines account for the rest.

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