Automobile Energy Requirements

by Eric Hirst, Chf.; Transp. Res. Ofc. of Energy Conservation, Federal Energy Admin., Washington, D.C.; on leave of absence as Res. Engr., ORNL-NSF Envir. Prog., Oak Ridge Natl. Lab., Oak Ridge, TN,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 4, Pg. 815-826

Document Type: Journal Paper


Variations in automobile fuel use as a function of trip length and of driving conditions (urban and intercity) are calculated for three hypothetical automobiles: subconmpact; average; and full size. In addition to direct (propulsion) energy use, total energy requirements for these three cars, operated under both urban and intercity driving conditions, are calculated. Fuel use declines markedly with increasing trip length, because the adverse impacts of cold start are spread over more miles. Fuel use is considerably higher for urban driving than for intercity driving, because of frequent stop-and-go cycles and cold start operations (due to shorter trip lengths for urban driving). Subcompacts use much less fuel and do full size cars, particularly in urban areas. Total energy requirements for autos exceed direct gasoline consumption by about 70%.

Subject Headings: Energy consumption | Urban areas | Interurban travel | Automobiles | Gasoline

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