The report, from the DoE's Energy Information Agency, predicts that by 2040, the number of gas-powered vehicles on the road will fall from today's 82 percent to 78 percent. This will be accompanied by a major rise in the average new-vehicle fuel economy, which should surge from the current 21.5 to 37.2 miles per gallon, leading to a four-percent drop in gasoline consumption by the US transport market. This is telling, as the same report predicts a 30-percent rise in miles traveled by the average American.
A surprising aspect of the report is the role of hybrids, though, which are expected to account for just five percent of the market, up from today's three-percent take, according to The Detroit News. Diesel power should double its market share, from two to four percent, while just two percent of the market will be plug-in hybrids or full electric vehicles. Where the report sees the biggest gains is in the use of so-called "micro hybrids" - gas-powered cars that utilize advanced features like stop-start and regenerative brakes - which are expected to account for 42 percent of the market.
Finally, in news that should make everyone happy, the price of fuel in 2040 is expected to rest around $3.90 for gasoline, besting a previous estimate of $4.40, and $4.73 for diesel, down from $5.03 in a previous EIA report.
What are your thoughts on all this? Do you think these predictions are accurate, or is there some aspect the report overlooked? Let us know in Comments.