New EIA data shows why gasoline is the U.S. benchmark motor fuel

  • 15-Feb-2013 02:55 EST
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The data points represent the energy content per unit volume or weight of the fuels themselves, not including the storage tanks or other equipment that the fuels require. For example, compressed-gaseous fuels require heavy storage tanks, while cooled fuels require equipment to maintain low temperature.

On an equivalent energy basis, motor gasoline (which contains up to 10% ethanol) was estimated to account for 99% of U.S. light-duty vehicle fuel consumption in 2012, according to new information released on the U.S. Energy Information Administration website. Over half of the remaining 1% was from diesel; all other fuels combined for less than half of 1%, according to the EIA. The widespread use of these fuels is largely explained by their energy density and ease of onboard storage, as no other fuels provide more energy within a given unit of volume. Compared to gasoline and diesel, other options may have more energy per unit weight, but none have more energy per unit volume.

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