Commercial Truck Fuel Consumption


  • To identify the quantity of fuel consumed by commercial trucks in California and the US for 2018 and 2019, as well as future expected growth, and to provide a breakdown by fuel type to inform the client’s knowledge base.

Early Findings

California’s Energy Consumption By-Sector 2017 / 2018

  • In 2017, the California Commercial Sector used 1,473 T BTUs of energy, or 8.2% of the energy consumed by similar state sectors in the US. The Transportation Sector consumed 3,175 T BTUs in the same year.
  • The US Energy Information Administration website offers a more-detailed look into the breakdown of energy/fuel usage by these sectors through this interactive database.

US Transportation Sector Energy Consumption

  • The US Transportation Sector is comprised of the “companies that provide services to move people and goods, as well as transportation infrastructure (like buses and such). It includes multiple industries, like “air freight and logistics, airlines, marine, road and rail, and transportation infrastructure. These industries are further broken down into the sub-industries air freight and logistics, airlines, marine, railroads, trucking, airport services, highways and rail tracks, and marine ports and services.” So, this sector includes more than just trucks used for commercial transport, and represents a larger sector than the subsector asked for.
  • In 2018, 26,037.42 trillion BTUs of petroleum was consumed by this sector in the whole of the US, with an additional 948.014 T BTUs of natural gas, and 0 units of coal being consumed. In the same year, this US sector consumed 1,415.468 trillion BTUs of biomass energy.

US Commercial Sector Energy Consumption

  • The US Commercial Sector is comprised of “government facilities, service-providing facilities and equipment, and other public and private organizations.” Most of this usage is in the form of electricity consumption (rather than fuel consumption).
  • In 2018, 18.721 T BTUs of coal, 3639.51 T BTUs of natural gas, and 855.683 T BTUs of petroleum were consumed, totaling 4513.915 total BTUs. In the same year, this US sector consumed 4787.804 T total units of renewable energies, with 2.073 T BTUs of conventional hydroelectric power, 20.005 T BTUs of geothermal power, 94.13 T BTUs of solar power, 1.588 T BTUs of wind power, and 156.095 T BTUs of biomass being consumed.

Heavy-Truck Fuel Consumption in 2015

  • This report from Trucking Research discusses the fuel consumption of heavy trucks in the US for 2015, though this is far outside the time range requested.

Information Available from 1949 - 2010

  • Our initial research led us to exactly the type of report needed to answer this, though the last available report was published in 2012 with the latest year of research being 2010. This leads us to the conclusion that this information likely has not been tracked in this specific manner by the US Energy Information Administration since that time.
  • Further research turned up information from the same US government department, though it was fragmented in a different way. The US Energy Information Administration has made available energy consumption totals by sector for the following sectors: Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Transportation, Electric Power, and US Government by Agency and by Source.

Findings Summary

  • Most of the original research turned up scads of information on the fuel efficiencies of large and commercial trucks, as well as the emissions and fuel efficiency standards for the US and various states. The EIA database is likely to have the information tracked for the whole US, though we were not able to delve any more deeply within the allotted time. We were able to identify a database that is likely to have the information for California, though it may not be solely for commercial trucks (as that specific information does not appear to be publicly available anywhere).

Research proposal:

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