Monday, March 25, 2024

U.S. energy efficiency has soared

Since 1970, U.S. consumption of crude oil and petroleum products has increased by only 38%, yet the U.S. economy has expanded by a factor of 4.2. As a result, U.S. oil consumption per unit of output has fallen by two thirds. This is simply astounding. Do we really need to continue subsidizing "green" energy?  Do we really need to regulate internal combustion engines out of existence?

Chart #1

Chart #2


wkevinw said...

Yes, the data for vehicles = truly extraordinary! Note- this is what those who call for death to an economy due to infinite exponential growth, and central planning advocates (socialists/communists) continue to miss. Innovation driven by positive incentives always wins. When new materials are created, and new ways to improve efficiency (read- conserve resources), wealth is created. "Created" is an important word- it means something of value is brought into existence (which previously did not exist).

David Landy said...

Couldn't there be a replacement effect here - say of natural gas?

Benjamin Cole said...

The federal gasoline tax could use a heavy jolt, and perhaps tariffs on imported oil.

James said...

The data for vehicles is extraordinary, extraordinarily bad. The 1980 Toyota Corolla got the same gas mileage as the current Toyota RAV4 SUV. Increased weight and horsepower of U.S. vehicles--sparked by the shift to gas guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks--has siphoned fuel efficiency gains right onto the sidewalk.

wkevinw said...

1980 - 2020 Entire fleet numbers:
Weight = ~+25%
MPG = ~+30%
Power = ~+100%

Corolla 1980 - 2024
Weight = ~+50%
MPG = ~+10%
Power = ~+100%

Cars in the past 20 years are far superior to 1980 in terms of safety, function and longevity.

James said...

It doesn’t matter how “car” fleets have performed, when there has been a dramatic shift in the mix of vehicles on the road to SUVs/pickups since the 1980s. SUVs and pickups are undeniably heavier and less fuel efficient than cars.