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The U.S. Demand for Highway Travel and Motor Fuel

This paper, based on an econometric analysis of annual data since 1965, examines the prospects for US highway travel and fuel demand, disaggregated by vehicle type (cars and light trucks). Despite projections by the US Department of Energy (DOE/EIA) of virtually no change in highway fuel use in the 1990s, we project a growth rate of about 1.3% annually. DOE/EIA assumes extraordinarily rapid improvement in fuel efficiency and relatively slow growth in large trucks' vehicle miles. We project slower gains in fuel efficiency, for all types of vehicles, and faster growth for large trucks' vehicle miles.

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Energy Specializations: Petroleum – Markets and Prices for Crude Oil and Products; Energy Modeling – Energy Data, Modeling, and Policy Analysis

JEL Codes:
L13 - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

Keywords: Highway travel demand, Motor fuel, CAFÉ, US, Road transportation

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol11-No3-3

Published in Volume 11, Number 3 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.