Estimating what the Crude Oil Demand Could be for the US Transportation Sector in Ten Years if We Make a Concerted Effort to Conserve

Revised Nov. 28, 2008

Crude demand should be proportional to the product of the following variables which would be 2006 averages.

v1 = load while driving/mile = power needed to: accelerate the vehicle and its cargo up to speed + over come wind resistance and  rolling resistance + run accessories. Some of the variables that determine these loads are SA, aerodynamic efficiency, tire size,  weight of vehicle and efficiency of accessories to name a few.

v2 = average thermal efficiency of engine during average trip (work to crankshaft/energy in)

v3 = hybrid factor = {(percent hybrids in use) * .7 + (percent other vehicles) * 1} - currently percent hybrid is low, but if all
vehicles were hybrid then v3 would be .7 This factor assumes that the hybrids are replacing a vehicle of similar size, shape and weight. The value of .7 may be a bit lower than what hybrids can boast today. But in time with improvements in the following technology it is thought the .7 factor will be realized:

    1) regenerative braking - saving some of the energy that is usually dissipated in the brakes for later use
    2) smaller engines running at optimum engine speed - possible because there is an electric motor that can help supply power during peek load times such as acceleration
    3) idling will be reduced by turning the engine off when stopped

v4 = increase in vehicle's fuel consumption due to poor driving habits  (a function of  driving speeds above and belove optimum, a driver's practice of quick acceleration and hard breaking)

v5= increase in vehicle's fuel consumption due to poor vehicle maintenance (examples: a vehicle with a dirty air filter, a vehicle that needs tuning and new spark plugs, a vehicle with under inflated tires, and a vehicle with the improper or dirty oil)

v6 = miles / trip

v7 = cars / people in car

v8 = Gallons of Crude Oil / gallon of fuel refined

v9 = gallons of fuel refined / gallons delivered to the pump (the denominator is equal to gallons of fuel refined - gallons of fuel it takes trucks and mechanisms to get it to the pump)

v10 = Gallon delivered to the pump / gallons not lost to vaporization and available to burn (note v8 and v9 would be close to 1 - these values would be larger and of greater interest if  we were discussing hydrogen fuel)

v11= total load of driving including friction / non friction load of driving

v12 = trips / year

v13 = actual path at legal speed with intermittent stopping for everyone's average daily commute/
idealized path at legal speed without stops for everyone's average daily commute (this is a variable that is effected by traffic control variables such as: speed limits and stoplight timing)

v14 =  total number of people working

v15 =  percent of vehicles that use gasoline or diesel verses using renewables such as solar, wind,  biofuels or electricity assuming none of it is made from crude oil.

Crude (Crude demand currently) = v1*v2*v3*v4*v5*v6*v7*v8*v9*v10*v11*v12*v13*v14*v15

In the following variables the t represents what the factors will be in ten years :

Crudet (Crude demand in ten years) = v1t*v2t*v3t*v4t*v5t*v6t*v7t*v8t*v9t*v10t*v11t*v12t*v13t*v14t*v15t

But it can be more helpful to calculate the percent of crude needed in ten years over what is used today = 100*Crudet/Crude.

So a new set of f variables will be defined as the future factor divided by the present factor. A couple examples follow:

 f1=v1t/v1 and f2=v2t/v2!

So we get the following equation:

100* (f1*f2*f3*f4*f5*f6*f7*f8*f9*f10*f11*f12*f13*f14*f15) = 100 * Crudet/Crude

=The percent of crude needed in ten years over what is used today.

Below are some estimates by considering what might be possible. Numbers won't necessarily be less than 1 but it is better if they would be.

Car manufacture factors:
f1=.7 (more cars - few trucks, lighter and more aerodynamic vehicles)
f2=.6 (match engine size to what the median load demand on the vehicle is rather than basing it on the marketing appeal while using more diesel engines and for all engines get more work from the exhaust gas in some fashion)
f3=.73 (assuming percent hybrid to be 90% in the following equation {(percent hybrids in use in ten years) * .7 + (percent other vehicles in ten years) * 1}/{(percent hybrids in use now) * .7 + (percent other vehicles now) * 1}[the denominator is assumed to be close to 1])

Consumer factors:
f4=.92 (with fewer cars on the roads it should help reduce reasons to use bad driving habits. Higher fuel prices will also cause some drivers to use better driving habits to save money, especially if they are educated as how to do so!)
increase in vehicle's fuel consumption due to poor driving habits
f5=.95 (if you remember to change your oil most shops will also try to sell you an air filter too. Don't forget about your plugs - you might need to go somewhere else to do that though)
f6=.6 (move closer to work or move work closer to people - in general smarter growth)
f7= .55 (car pool, vanpool and/or use public transportation {if it doesn't exist or is ineffective where it is most needed, then local governments with the help of the federal government need to develop or improve it})
Oil Company factors:
f8=1.1 (refinery efficiency may decrease since a higher percentage of heavy crude will be used over what is now used due to a number of factors)

f9=.98 (probably won't change much since the v9 variable is close to 1 already)
f10=.99 (probably won't change much since the v10 variable is already close to 1)
f11=.99 (though friction is a significant load on fuel consumption the improvements in lubricants that would reduce this will not probably be significant due to the extensive research in this area already though and improvements that are made could possible help improve efficiency of all mechanical devices in a short order of time)
Government and employer factors:
f12=.85 (go to a 4 day work week would help and/or encourage some people to work at home, even if its just one day a week)
f13=.95 (the quickest thing to do would be to rethink some of the new speed limits and perhaps reduce them in some places)
Demographic factor:
f14= 1.1 (this may be lower considering our population is getting older)
New supply factor:
f15=.5  (by reducing demand to about 8% of what it is now, to suggest a 50% renewable fuel supply is being conservative, since we are close to that volume now. Yet, we can expect increased use of  wind and solar generated electricity that charge batteries of hybrid cars and increased use of biodiesel and alcohol on the other hand to expect renewable fuels to supply 50% of our motor fuel without reducing current demand is only to invite other problems)

Now substituting these numbers, which are thought to be plausable, into the equation:

100* (f1*f2* f3* f4*  f5* f6*  f7* f8 * f9 * f10*f11*f12*f13*f14*f15) = future use/current use
100 *.7*.6*.73*.92*.95*.6*.55*1.1*.98*.99*.99* .85* .95* 1.1*.5 =  4.1%

So if we could meet these numbers in a ten years time, we would only be using 4.1% as much crude oil, as we do today! A reduction of over 95% !!

As shown above we could reduce our need for crude oil to about 4.1 percent of what we use today for transportation. In this case our own domestic reserves of crude oil would be able to meet the demand and the United States Could Export Crude Oil!

Of coarse this would be very optimistic outlook. But with increasing fuel costs as an additional motivator we can use the above equation to identify which factors should be addressed according to the region or city one is in.  It may be hard to get people to use public transportation if there is no good system in place, but then 
perhaps car pooling, vanpooling and a four day work week could be considered. I would like to see cities compete with each other as to who could become the most energy efficient - be it in the transportation sector or some other sector. WE all should hope the winners would brag about it too. After all, in e$$ence we are all bidding on the same pot of "Crude".

Please, Check out the calculator that helps estimate the cost of fuel for your commute over a years time.