Monday, October 1, 2012

New Car Fuel Consumption Could Be Halved, International Energy Agency Claims

The world's new cars could use half as much as much fuel as they do now in 20 years, if current technologies are more widely adopted, according to the International Energy Agency.

In a pair of reports issued Wednesday the agency said with aggressive new policies, the world could stabilize its oil consumption even if the number of vehicles on the road doubles by 2050. Without those policies, cars and trucks would consume twice the amount of oil they do today.

Half the world's oil — about 45 million barrels per day — is used to make the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel needed to drive, ship or fly.

The IEA, an energy security group with 28 oil-importing member countries, suggested a number of policies and technologies that could lead to far less fuel use. Many are already being adopted around the world, but the agency said the pace of change could be accelerated.

IEA pointed to better labeling of fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions of new cars, and standards that mandate minimum fuel economy levels and limit carbon dioxide emissions. It also suggested taxes or other financial measures that penalize buying gas-guzzlers and reward the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles.

Last month the Obama Administration finalized regulations that will force automakers to nearly double the average gas mileage of all new cars and trucks they sell in the U.S. by 2025.

Energy industry executives and government forecasters say U.S. gasoline demand peaked in 2006 and will slowly decline because of more fuel efficient cars and trucks and demographic changes. Similar trends are playing out in Western Europe and Japan. But millions of people in the developing economies of China, India and elsewhere are buying cars for the first time and pushing up world oil demand. More


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