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Transportation 50 Items

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U.S. oil combustion: present and projected

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_oil_combustion_transportation
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.

 

Automotive and oil industry profits

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Automotive_and_oil_industry_profits
Automakers' profit margin typically hangs around 1% (in the U.S., 0.4%), far below the oil industry’s. The 2007–2008 global financial crisis sharply cut sales of new vehicles and the financial stability of the U.S. Big 3 auto manufacturers (Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler).

 

Energy flow through a typical internal combustion engine drivetrain

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Energy_flow_through_a_typical_internal_combustion_engine_drivetrain
This chart shows why less than 0.5% of the energy in a typical modern auto’s fuel actually moves the driver, and only 5–6% moves the auto. An auto's weight is responsible for more than two-thirds of the energy needed to move it. All told, 86% of the fuel energy never reaches the wheels.

 

Vehicle retail price and curb weight, new U.S. car sales, model year 2010

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Vehicle_retail_price_curb_weight_new_cars
Lightweight autos needn’t cost more. The MY 2010 U.S. new-car fleet shows little or no correlation between lighter weight and higher prices.

 

Sales-weighted curb mass and density of new autos sold in U.S., 1986–2009

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Saleweighted_curb_mass_and_density_of_new_autos
Autos in the U.S. have increased in weight by 16% since 1986 to an average of 3,533 lb. in 2009. Cars have also gotten denser, rising 14%—from 28 to 32 lb per interior cubic foot. Yet since 1986, U.S. adults got only 8% heavier.

 

Tractive load formulas

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-tractive_load_formulas
Powertrain efficiency from tank to wheels can't exceed 1.0, and is around 0.17 in a typical modern car or 0.35 in a good "full hybrid," but the energy needed to move the car can be reduced severalfold by making it lighter and more slippery.

 

Horsepower to overcome aerodynamic drag

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Horsepower_overcome_aerodynamic_drag
Each 10% decrease in an auto’s aerodynamic drag can raise its fuel economy by very roughly 3%.

 

Drag coefficient and retail price, new U.S. car sales model year 2010

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Drag_coefficient_and_retail_price
As with lightweight autos, more aerodynamic autos needn’t cost more. A survey of currently available autos shows that lower drag vehicles, as a whole, cost no more than less aerodynamic ones.

 

Power to accelerate 0–60 mph in 9 seconds

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Power_to_accelerate_0_60_in_9_seconds
Every 10% decrease in an auto’s weight can raise fuel economy by roughly 6%.

 

Efficiency gain of low rolling resistance tires vs. baseline

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-efficiency_gain_low_rolling_resistance_tires
Losses due to rolling resistance are higher for heavier vehicles than for autos. In a Class 8 tractor trailer at 65 mph, 13% of fuel is lost to rolling resistance. Wide base single tires save about half of that today, more with next-generation tires.

 

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