Oct 1, 2019

Trucking accounts for one-fourth of the fuel used on U.S. roads

Adapted from Department of Energy; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Energy Department's Vehicle Technologies Office's "fact of the week" pulls data on 2 key categories of medium- and heavy-duty trucks to illustrate what prolific fuel users they are.

The big picture: As the chart above shows, in 2017 they consumed over one-fourth of the fuel used on U.S. roads despite being just 4.5% of the vehicles. "Combination" trucks alone — that is, tractor trailers — accounted for 17% of that consumption.

Why it matters: It's hardly just the U.S. where heavy trucking is a massive source of fuel consumption.

  • Globally, trucking — as well as petrochemicals, shipping and aviation — explains why multiple projections of global oil demand see growth (or at least no decline) through 2040 or later.

What they're saying: The International Energy Agency's central long-term scenario shows oil demand is several million barrels per day higher in 2040, even though use in passenger cars peaks in the mid-2020s.

  • All of that growth is expected to come from developing economies.

Go deeper: Self-driving cars could be more fuel-efficient than human drivers

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New warning about SUVs' climate toll

Reproduced from IEA; Note: Other passenger cars refers to internal combustion passenger cars excluding SUVs; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new International Energy Agency analysis looks at carbon emissions from the global growth in SUV sales and calls it "nothing short of surprising."

Why it matters: Wringing carbon out of transportation is vital to fighting climate change and that's going to be harder if SUV sales keep growing fast.

Go deeperArrowOct 15, 2019

More women are becoming truck drivers amid industry labor shortage

A long-haul truck in Louisiana. Photo: Tim Graham/Getty Images

The American Trucking Association said the trucking industry saw a 68% increase in the number of female drivers from 2010 to 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the economy will need more truckers as the demand for goods increases. With the labor market continuing to tighten, employers are hiring from demographic groups that have not traditionally been associated with trucking.

Go deeperArrowOct 14, 2019

The oil market's dueling pressures

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Two pieces of news this morning distill the competing forces acting on oil markets these days.

The big picture: Geopolitical risks in the vital oil producing and transit region can cause short-lived price spikes, but at the same time, a drumbeat of bearish economic news is preventing a sustained price rise.

Go deeperArrowOct 11, 2019