The fuel consumption in vehicles can be checked by bringing about changes in 3 parameters, such as vehicle’s fuel economy, distance travelled and vehicle load. A study conducted by University of Michigan along with Sustainable Worldwide Transportation on the extent of travel in personal vehicles and fuel consumption based on data obtained from the US Department of Transportation (RITA, 2013) during 1970 to 2010 observed that the changes in these 3 parameters can greatly influence the rate of fuel consumption.
The study examined the effect of changes in these parameters on fuel consumption during the last 40 years mainly in light-duty vehicles.
The study revealed the facts about personal transportation in the US. During a 40-year period, the vehicle distance travelled increased by 155%. The vehicle load decreased by 27 % and occupant distance travelled increased by only 84%. Though the fuel economy of the entire fleet improved by 40%, the occupant fuel efficiency improved only by 17%.
The amount of fuel used during these years increased by 53% because of the increase in vehicle distance travelled and less efficient fuel. The fuel consumption can be reduced by improving the fuel economy. It is clear from the report that fuel consumption can be checked by changing these three parameters.
The improvements in vehicle fuel economy in future will have a greater impact on the rate of fuel consumption and they will increase the vehicle distance travelled. However, it will take a long time to influence the entire fleet of vehicles.
Fuel consumption can also be checked by decreasing the vehicle load and it automatically leads to reduction in vehicle distance travelled. Potential future effects of these parameters were also discussed in the report.