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Metadata Glossary

Indicator NameRoad sector gasoline fuel consumption per capita (kg of oil equivalent)
Long definitionGasoline is light hydrocarbon oil use in internal combustion engine such as motor vehicles, excluding aircraft.
SourceInternational Road Federation, World Road Statistics and electronic files, except where noted, and International Energy Agency (IEA Statistics © OECD/IEA,
TopicInfrastructure: Transportation
Aggregation methodWeighted average
Statistical concept and methodologyRoad sector energy consumption includes energy from petroleum products, natural gas, renewable and combustible waste, and electricity. Biodiesel and biogasoline, forms of renewable energy, are biodegradable and emit less sulfur and carbon monoxide than petroleum-derived ones. They can be produced from vegetable oils, such as soybean, corn, palm, peanut, or sunflower oil, and can be used directly only in a modified internal combustion engine. The unit of measurement is kilograms of oil equivalent. World Bank estimates of population data are used for calculation of per capita data.
Development relevanceRoad vehicles dominate global oil consumption, consuming as much as 80 percent of transport energy and are one of the fastest growing energy end-uses. As a result, transport sector's share of oil consumption has been increasing steadily at around 0.5 percent per year. In the mid-2000s, some 60 percent of oil was consumed in this sector worldwide. There has been a slow progress in consumer behavioral changes in purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles such as diesel engines. In gasoline-powered vehicles, only about 14-26 percent of fuel energy gets used to move a car, depending on the drive cycle. The rest of the energy is lost to engine and driveline inefficiencies or used to power accessories; almost 70 percent of the energy from fuel goes to engine losses such as friction, pumping, combustion, exhaust heat, and radiator. Advanced technologies such as variable valve timing and lift (VVT&L), turbocharging, direct fuel injection, and cylinder deactivation are increasingly been used to reduce these losses. The potential to improve fuel efficiency with advanced technologies is enormous. Traffic congestion in urban areas constrains economic productivity, damages people's health, and degrades the quality of life. In recent years ownership of passenger cars has increased, and the expansion of economic activity has led to more goods and services being transported by road over greater distances. These developments have increased demand for roads and vehicles, adding to urban congestion, air pollution, health hazards, and traffic accidents and injuries. Transport infrastructure - highways, railways, ports and waterways, and airports and air traffic control systems - and the services that flow from it are crucial to the activities of households, producers, and governments. Because performance indicators vary widely by transport mode and focus (whether physical infrastructure or the services flowing from that infrastructure), highly specialized and carefully specified indicators are required to measure a country's transport infrastructure. The road transport industry a vital engine of global socio-economic growth. It is of vital importance for economic development, creating direct and indirect employment, supporting tourism and local businesses. Economic growth, technological change, market liberalization, and oil prices affect road transport throughout the world. The US Congress recently passed legislation to decrease United States' dependence on oil by increasing corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards on new cars and trucks to 35 mpg by model year 2020; this could potentially reduce petroleum use by 25 billion gallons by 2030.
Limitations and exceptionsNational road associations are the primary source of International Road Federation (IRF) data. In countries where a national road association is lacking or does not respond, other agencies are contacted, such as road directorates, ministries of transport or public works, or central statistical offices. As a result, definitions and data collection methods and quality differ, and the compiled data are of uneven quality. Moreover, the quality of transport service (reliability, transit time, and condition of goods delivered) is rarely measured, though it may be as important as quantity in assessing an economy's transport system. Data for transport sectors are not always internationally comparable. Unlike for demographic statistics, national income accounts, and international trade data, the collection of infrastructure data has not been "internationalized."
General commentsRestricted use: Reproduction is strictly prohibited. Extracts must be quoted, after agreement with IRF Geneva, providing the source as IRF World Road Statistics. Please contact and [Note: Data have been removed from external publication pending a review of their licensing agreement.]
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