Thursday, May 13, 2010


Highway Data Revised

Last year I plotted FHWA VMT divided by total gasoline consumed in the US from January 2000 to November 2009. There was a clear downward trend. This year the data was revised. I'm now very skeptical about FHWA research.

April 2009 data:

May 2010 data:

UPDATE: From FHWA, Previous numbers are TVT estimates. States submit after 6 months and frequently resubmit data and update data. The final (HPMS) numbers are published a year and half later. This year's data for 2007, 2008, and 2009 were largely higher than TVT estimates. Upward revision is normal, but this year's was larger than usual. I wouldn't be suprised if the drive for stimulus dollars has pushed the numbers up.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


More Fuel Efficient Vehicles Are Not Making Us More Efficient

The New York Times plots per capita driving and gasoline prices. Again they miss the big story. During the run up in prices since 2005, gasoline consumption didn’t go down. We became less efficient even though the fuel economy rating of the manufactured fleet improved and trucks and SUVs sat on lots.

I think it’s clear that we are trying address the wrong end of fuel efficiency. The real bottleneck is on the road. People not accelerating quickly enough and causing congestion (due to misguided beliefs that slow acceleration is more efficient and maybe due to increased cell phone use).

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