Brookings Report Concludes US Drop in VMT Signals a Permanent Shift Away from Cars; Implications for Transportation Policy
Chrysler to Idle All Production for At Least One Month

New US EIA Energy Outlook Projects Flat Oil Consumption to 2030, Slower Growth in Energy Use and CO2 Emissions, and Reduced Import Dependence; 2% PHEV New Sales Share by 2030

The AEO2009 reference case projects no increase in petroleum-based liquid fuels consumption, as biofuel use grows. Click to enlarge.

The Annual Energy Outlook 2009 (AEO2009) reference case released today by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects virtually no growth in US oil consumption through 2030, reflecting the combined effect of recently enacted CAFE standards, requirements for increased use of renewable fuels, and an assumed rebound in oil prices as the world economy recovers.

With overall liquid fuel demand in the AEO2009 reference case growing by 1 million barrels per day between 2007 and 2030, increased use of domestically-produced biofuels, and rising domestic oil production spurred by higher prices, the net import share of total liquids supplied, including biofuels, declines from 58% in 2007 to less than 40% in 2025 before increasing to 41% in 2030.

Vehicle fleet and use. AEO2009 projects a sharp increase in the sale of unconventional vehicle technologies, such as flex-fuel, hybrid, and diesel vehicles, as well as a significant decline in the new light-truck share of total light-duty vehicle sales.

In the reference case, hybrid vehicle sales (all varieties) increase from 2% of new light-duty vehicle sales in 2007 to 38% in 2030 (sales are tracking at around 2.4% for 2008), with full and mild hybrid systems accounting for most of that. Sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) grow to 90,000 vehicles annually by 2014, supported by recently enacted tax credits. By 2030, PHEVs account for 2% of new light vehicle sales.

Aeo2009b Aeo2009c
Full and mild hybrid systems dominate new vehicle sales by 2030. Click to enlarge. The mix of light-duty vehicle sales shifts away from trucks back to cars. Click to enlarge.

AEO2009 assumes an ongoing increase in light-duty vehicle (vehicle weight < 8,500 lbs) miles traveled (VMT), with an increase from a projected 2,669 billion VMT this year to 3,807 billion VMT in 2030—an increase of 42.6%.

Assumed tested (EPA rated) average efficiency of new light-duty cars increases from 30.4 mpg US (7.7 L/100km) in 2008 to 41.4 mpg US (5.7 L/100km) in 2030 (+36%); tested efficiency for light trucks increases from 23.1 mpg US (10.2 L/100km) to 32.9 mpg US (7.1 L/100km) in 2030 (+43%).

AEO2009 LDV fuel economy projections. Click to enlarge.

Assumed on-road efficiency (tested new vehicle efficiency revised for on-road performance) of new cars in the report increases from 24.8 mpg US (9.5 L/100km) in 2008 to 34.7 mpg US (6.8 L/100km) in 2030 (+40%); on-road efficiency for light trucks increases from 19.4 mpg US (12.1 L/100km) in 2008 to 27.7 mpg US (8.5 L/100km) in 2030 (+43%).

AEO2009 projects that in 2030, the light-duty fleet will consume 16.41 quadrillion Btu of energy (9.31 million barrels per day oil equivalent), an increase of 2% from 2008’s 16.04 quadrillion Btu.

Biofuels. AEO2009 projects that biofuels will fall short of the 36 billion gallon RFS target for 2022—mainly due to the lack of cellulosic ethanol production—but will exceed the 36 billion gallon target by 2030.

The report sees ethanol use for gasoline blending growing to 12.2 billion gallons and E85 consumption to 17.3 billion gallons in 2030. The ethanol supply from cellulosic feedstocks reaches 12.6 billion gallons (including both domestic and imported production) in 2030. Biodiesel and biomass-to-liquid diesel fuel use both rise significantly, reaching nearly 2 billion gallons and 5 billion gallons, respectively, in 2030.

Other highlights. Other highlights of the AEO2009 reference case projections include:

  • Efficiency policies and higher energy prices in AEO2009 slow the rise in US energy use, which is projected to grow from 101.9 quadrillion Btu in 2007 to 113.3 quadrillion Btu in 2030. Combined with the increased use of renewables and a reduction in projected additions of new coal-fired conventional power plants, this slows the growth in energy-related GHG emissions.

  • Energy-related CO2 emissions grow at 0.3% per year from 2007 to 2030 in the AEO2009 reference case, reaching a level of 6,410 million metric tons in 2030, as compared with 6,851 million metric tons in the AEO2008 reference case.

  • The assumption of a higher world oil price path in the AEO2009 reference case reflects tighter constraints on access to low cost oil supplies in a setting where the forces driving growth in long-term demand in non-OECD countries remains as strong as previously expected. In 2007 dollars, the world crude oil price, averaging near $60 in 2009, rises as the global economy rebounds and global demand once again grows more rapidly than non-OPEC liquids supply. In 2030, the average real price of crude oil is $130 per barrel in 2007 dollars ($189 per barrel in nominal dollars).

  • Coal, oil, and natural gas meet 79% of total US primary energy supply requirements in 2030, down from an 85% share in 2007.

  • Total consumption of marketed renewable fuels—including wood, municipal waste, and biomass in the end use sectors; hydroelectricity, geothermal, municipal waste, biomass, solar, and wind for electric power generation; ethanol for gasoline blending; and biomass-based diesel—grows by 3.3% per year.

  • Total domestic production of natural gas reaches 23.7 trillion cubic feet by 2030. While exploration and production costs rise over time, higher natural gas prices support the projected level of production. Onshore production of unconventional natural gas, including shale gas, increases from 9.2 trillion cubic feet in 2007 to 13.2 trillion cubic feet in 2030.

  • Total electricity consumption, including both purchases from electric power producers and on-site generation, grows from 3,903 billion kWh in 2007 to 4,902 billion kWh in 2030. New natural gas and renewable plants account for the majority of generating capacity additions. The natural gas share of electricity generation remains between 19% and 22% through 2030. Coal’s generation share declines from 49% to 45% between 2007 and 2025, then rebounds slightly to 47% in 2030 as a small number of new coal plants are added.

The full AEO2009 report, including projections with differing assumptions on the price of oil, the rate of economic growth, and the characteristics of new technologies, will be released in early 2009, along with regional projections.



"By 2030, PHEVs account for 2% of new light vehicle sales"

Only 2% ??

By 2030, PHEVs account for 2% of new light vehicle sales"

Only 2% ??

Oh sure. By then 98% will be GM's fabled Hydrogen Fool-Cell vehicle.


Yes it will take a long time for plug ins to get to the point hybrids are at now amoung pasenger cars as most of the batteries will get gobbled up by hybrids and commercial fleets.

As for fuel cell cars yes they will be on the road before then and in fair number as they dont have to use a large battery or any battery at all if need be and batteries will be a limiting factor for a long time.


Don't worry there's no way hydrogen can be produced's just too expensive.


Also note that ICE hybrid efficiency is getting close to fuel cell efficiency
recently the new ford fusion hybrid got 44mpg in real world test and honda clarity got 56mpg. If HCCI technology comes into play, ICE hybrid efficiency will be better than fuel cell...yes it really become fool cell


Have we ever seen the accurate prediction from EIA? It does not matter what they said how many % of PHEV by 2030.


Actualy in europe h2 is about the same price as petrol.


yeah because Europe has high petrol price which shouldn't be


In North America, hydrogen is sold at 5dollar/kg which is about same as 5 dollar/gallon but petrol is sold at 1.5 dollar/gallon now...and ethanol at 0.8 dollar per gallon at lowest


and that 5 dollar/kg price is from the cheapest possible production method e.g natural gas


well...actually the price is mix of the cost of steam reformation from natural gas and electrolysis, latter being more expensive. But natural gas is getting expensive as it is not renewable source. Only way you can get hydrogen is direct thermal to hydrogen conversion from 4th generation nuclear power. But it won't happen until 2030. By then uranium price would go up and no longer cheap.


In 2006 hydrogen in Europe cost was 3.2 dollar/kg

now they cost 8 dollar/kg...


and EU is putting billions of euros to make hydrogen viable...and this is the result they are getting it's so laughable


The main force in transportation in Europe is the 130 gm/km CO2 rating.
This is causing the car manufacturers to go to diesel, downsizing, and to a lesser extent, hybridization.
It isn't pushing them to H2, whatever the EU commission does.
The manufacturers aren't that crazy.
They have also set limits for CO2 in towns (like London) of 120 gms, which can be achieved by quite a few ICEs, which has killed off the current generation of "crap" electric cars (Reva etc).
We await "proper" electric cars, such as the Mitsubishi MIEV and PHEVs.


The reason that PHEVs, EVs and Fool-Cell vehicle sales are estimated to be vanishingly small by 2030 is that GM has been investing it's excess profits in killing them and continuing to keep the EV1's miraculously effective design secret.


Looking at the chart "The mix of light-duty vehicle sales shifts away from trucks back to cars." it appears that if the Big-3 were able to get labor cost relief they might continue to make big $$ on dinosaurs through 2030; SUVs and pickups are about 30% of the market.
But probably not without more help like the import hurdles for Harley-Davidson. Without labor cost reduction and import hurdles, auto making will leave the US just like furniture, clothing, TVs, toys, motorcycles, small cars, etc, etc.
Bailouts will just prolong the agony and increase the cost.


Here is a link of an interview of the chief economist of the IEA who wrote the last energy forecast. Very interesting, the whole thing start to unravel...

Will S

labor cost reduction

I assume you are also referring to management compensation as well...


According to a very recent study by prof. Mark Z Jacobson (Stanford U) the worst renewable fuel is ethanol, both grain and cellulosic.

Why is the Big-3 trying to shove more flex-fuel (E-85) gas guzzlers down our throat and our governments using our tax $$ to pay for it?

All governments should put an end to grain ethanol subsidies and shift those funds to mass produce improved batteries, improved HEVs, extended range PHEVs and BEVs.

Production of cellulosic ethanol and/or fuel from wastes could be promoted to get rid of wastes and supply essential liquid energy for aircraft, ships, trains, large long haul trucks etc.


ToppaTom makes a good point. Why isn't the EV-1 design being resurrected?


The problem with the EV-1, as GM saw it, was it was too simple.

An elecric motor has only one moving part[the rotor] and one that needs routine replacement[the brushes]. Between the batteries, wires, on switch and motor there really isn't much that can go wrong and when it does any handyman can fix it. The EV-1 would have put GM's service network out of work and they wouldn't have been able to sell enough spare parts.

As any drug dealer knows you have to get your customer hooked so they keep coming back for more.


[labor cost reduction]
I should probably include management compensation, however the stockholders apparently believe the upper management is worth it. Hard to believe, or maybe they cannot easily control these good ol’ boys.
Either way, 25 top execs (25 is probably high) making an extra $10 million each, amounts to “only” $250 million.
In a good year GM sold 4.7 million vehicles. An excess labor cost of $2000 per vehicle = $8 billion per year - which makes the exec’s fat salaries a big emotional issue but actually a secondary issue.
And over 10 or 15 years $8 billion/yr excess labor cost amounts to real money.
I have to assume the EV1 has not been copied by any of the other auto makers since it came out 10 years ago is because it’s technology is beyond them (I don’t think so) or that it is not viable; I cannot believe the Japanese, German, Swiss etc auto makers would pass up such a moneymaker; unless it was not.

Stan Peterson

Some of you Gainan Crusaders can't tell Reality from satirical Sarcasm.

I thought Tom's sarcasm was well done.

The comments to this entry are closed.