Rise in fuel efficiency should offset more miles traveled by 2040
The projected improved fuel economy mandated by law should more than offset an expected increase in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 2040, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administrationês Annual Energy Outlook. The result: a decline in U.S. gasoline consumption.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that the more stringent fuel economy standards will require new light-duty vehicles to average 49 miles per gallon in model year 2025, up from 33 mpg in MY 2012.
One reason VMT has dropped slightly in recent years is that the recession meant fewer people were driving to work or, for a while at least, buying new cars. Demographic shifts are also a factor. More young people have delayed getting a driverês license. And as the population ages, people tend to drive less. By 2040, the percentage of the population 65 and older will rise to 26.8 percent from 17.4 percent in 2012.Download Bulletin PDF