Listed below are all documents and RMI.org site pages related to this topic.
The U.S. burns 13 million barrels of oil a day for transportation. Most of this oil powers cars and light trucks. By 2050, the U.S. is expected to burn upwards of 17 million barrels of oil a day for transportation alone.
In the transportation sector, Reinventing Fire affects jobs in oil exploration and production, auto manufacturing, auto parts and auto repair, and hydrogen and biofuels production. The net effect on jobs from these changes is relatively small.
Carbon fiber material supply is currently increasing by 9–10 million pounds per year. Demand began a 10-fold increase with Boeing’s and Airbus’s new carbon-intensive airplane orders in 2005.
Our airplane efficiency gain is derived from studies of new airplane designs within each of the major airplane size classes: narrowbody, widebody, and regional. Efficiency gains for each future airplane design are relative to existing 2010 designs.
Decades of improvements in airplane efficiency, logistics, and load factor slashed the fuel burned per seat by 82% during 1958–2010. Compared to early airliners like the Comet 4, engine fuel consumption has dropped by nearly 50%.
Considering historical technology adoption in aviation and entry into service dates for advanced airplanes, the majority of today’s planes could be replaced with more efficient versions by 2050.
America's vast transportation system can continue growing and improving all without oil. In 2050 we’d rely on superefficient, lightweight vehicles and planes to move ourselves and our goods. For the remaining 3.1 Mbbl/d of liquid fuel demand not supplied by electric propulsion systems, 2nd and 3rd generation biofuels (or, in trucks, natural gas if desired) could be substituted for oil.
Transitioning to a more efficient transportation system by 2050 will cost, all told, $2 trillion in 2010 present value, but will save $5.8 trillion. This includes the cost of building the distribution infrastructure needed to support a fleet of autos running on a mix of electricity and hydrogen, less avoided investments in domestic oil supply.