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EIA: US consumption of alt fuels up 13% in 2011; E85 second behind natural gas; medium-duty vans had greater impact than LDVs

9 April 2013

Chart
Consumption of alternative fuels by vehicle type, 2011. Replacement fuels—i.e., E10 and biodiesel—are categorized separately. Source: EIA. Click to enlarge.

Overall consumption of alternative transportation fuels in the US increased almost 13% in 2011 to a total of 515,920 thousand gasoline-equivalent gallons, compared to 457,755 thousand gasoline-equivalent gallons in 2010, according to the latest Alternative Fuel Vehicle Data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In alternative-fueled vehicles, consumption of ethanol (E85) increased 52% from the prior year’s consumption, an increase from 90,323 thousand gasoline-equivalent gallons in 2010 to 137,165 thousand gasoline-equivalent gallons in 2011. EIA attributed this to the increase in overall inventory of E85-capable vehicles. In 2011, E85 became the second-most consumed alternative fuel, behind natural gas (220,247 thousand-gasoline-equivalent gallons), and outpacing LPG (124,457 thousand-gasoline-equivalent gallons).

While inventory and fuel use in automobiles continues to increase, the rise in the use of medium-duty vans had a larger impact on fuel consumption due to their higher rate of consumption and, in contrast to light duty vehicles, they are more likely to be utilized as an alternative-fueled vehicle than a traditional gasoline-fueled vehicle, EIA noted.

Replacement fuels. Consumption of replacement fuels—i.e., biodiesel and gasohol (E10)—increased 7.7% from 2010 to 2011, climbing up to 9,474,809 thousand-gasoline-equivalent gallons.

With the reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit and the requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard, consumption of biodiesel grew almost 240% between 2010 and 2011. Consumption of ethanol in gasohol (E10) remained flat between 2010 and 2011 since almost all gasoline in the United States is now blended with 10% ethanol.

This “blend wall” (the maximum amount that can be blended into standard gasoline without requiring different equipment, warranties or infrastructure) has shifted more ethanol into the E85 sector.

April 9, 2013 in Biodiesel, Ethanol, Fuels | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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