Oil Consumption Results
Oil COnsumption

To summarize oil consumption over the 21st century:

  • Business as usual--100% regular gasoline cars: oil consumption decreases with decreased numbers of vehicles sold as a result of the 2008-2009 recession, and the model assumes increasing fuel economy for regular cars
  • Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) Base Case Scenario:converting more and more cars to hybrid electric vehicles reduces oil consumption significantly
  • Gasoline Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) scenario: plugging-in gasoline HEVs also cuts oil consumption as shown by the orange curve above; by the end of the century, oil use in the light duty passenger (cars and trucks) would stabilize at 30% below 2009 levels
  • Biofuel (Cellulosic ethanol) Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle scenario: running the plug-in hybrids on biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol cuts oil use even more,
  • Battery electric vehicle scenario: adding BEVs cuts GHGs some more, but since BEVs are limited to approximately 40% of all vehicles since even advanced batteries can only power small vehicles that travel relatively short distances; the BEV scenario does reduce oil consumption by the end of the century such that the US oil consumption (including non-transportation uses) could be met by non-OPEC nations in some future crisis(dotted horizontal line)
  • Fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV)scenario: adding hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles to the mix would eliminate nearly all oil consumption from the light duty vehicle mix by the end of the century; fuel cell electric vehicles would also reduce oil use by 2050 to levels that could be supplied by non-OPEC nations, and by 2070 to levels that could be supplied exclusively by oil from the American hemisphere (excluding Venezuela in both cases!)

Early Oil Reductions:This computer model assumes that PHEVS enter the marketplace 5 to 6 years before hydrogen-powered FCEVs:

Despite this 5- to 6-year early lead, the PHEV scenario reduces oil consumption less than the FCEV scenario by 2030, with the BEV scenario approximately midway between the FCEV and PHEV scenarios:

  • The hydrogen FCEV scenario cuts more oil consumption since no oil is used in producing hydrogen, while the PHEVs still rely on gasoline for some of their travel, and even BEVs require oil products to mine fuels (primarily coal), process fuels and transport fuels to the electrical power plants.

 For a detailed description of some of the key input assumptions for these models, see an article published in December of 2009 (although some assumptions have changed with this current model based on the AEO 2012 data as described elsewhere).


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