As I mentioned in a previous article, the US oil billionaire T Boone Pickens believes his country is the Saudi Arabia of wind energy. This may be true.
But according to the Daily Green, America also has the potential of saving up to ten million barrels per day by doubling the fuel efficiency of all its vehicles.
This would have many benefits, including decreasing significantly both oil prices and greenhouse gases emissions. A most exciting new prospect !
Now let us have a look at this proposition. Is it feasible ? Here is the data :
The United States of America consume a quarter of the global oil production, a daily 21 million barrels.
Out of these, 70 percent are used by transportation (see this article for the source). If my little knowledge of mathematics is good enough, this makes an approximate of 15 million barrels per day.
This represents more than the production of Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States with respectively 10.37, 9.27 and 8.69 millions of barrels per day ( source : my overview of the oil industry written in 2006, the data itself comes from the IEA, 2004)
According to this page from the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics, American cars and light trucks issued last year have an average mileage of 25 MPG, or roughly ten liters for a hundred kilometers.
Meanwhile, cars like the famous Toyota Prius is making around five liters for a hundred kilometers. This is two times less oil.
Furthermore, we are now seeing cars needing less than four liters of oil for a hundred kilometers, this makes a mileage of roughly 60 miles per gallon…
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for US car makers to make vehicles that will consume much less fossil fuels. One of them is Controlled Auto Ignition, or CAI, which I tackled previously there.
Indeed, the cheapest and cleanest energy is the one we don’t need…
Source for converting Miles Per Gallon into Litres per 100 kilometers : www.pege.org