Average Fuel Consumption Hits Three-Decade Low

Average fuel consumption in America is the lowest it has been in three decades according to new data from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.

University of Michigan researcher Michael Sivak found that Americans are using less gas, based on data spanning 1984 to 2013 from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. According to Sivak, fuel consumed in 2013 was about 392 gallons per person, which marks a 17-percent reduction compared to 2004, the year of maximum consumption. The data also showed that 583 gallons per consumed per driver (down 16 percent compared to 2004), 524 gallons per vehicle (down 14 percent from 2003) and 1,011 gallons per household (down 19 percent from 2004). The values from 2013 are lower than those from 1984, the first year data was recorded.

SEE ALSO: Average Fuel Economy Falls in February

The study also analyzed changes in vehicles owned and distance driven with rates per person, driver, vehicle and household being at their lowest levels since attributes the decline to societal changes such as telecommuting, use of public transportation and urbanization of the popular, as well as changes in the age composition of drivers have influenced the need for personal transportation.

“The reductions in the fuel-consumption rates reflect, in part, the added contribution of the improvements in vehicle fuel economy,” said Sivak. “Overall, the combined evidence from this and the previous studies indicates that—per person, per driver and per household—we now have fewer light-duty vehicles, we drive each of them less and we consume less fuel than in the past. There is no evidence in the 2013 data that the peaks in the rates that we experienced about 10 years ago were temporary.”

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