Posted tagged ‘cars’

Hacking the Automobile Is No Longer Science Fiction

July 22, 2015

Authors Note:  After consideration and feedback,  I have pulled this post.  While I believe it offered compelling introspection, I also do not believe it was in the spirit of these articles.  While I broke the issue into component parts, it was more of an opinionated commentary than a starting point for conversation.

 

 

How many barrels of oil to fuel my car?

November 28, 2011

(Originally published January 2011)

Even with a business mind, large petroleum numbers have always been hard for me to put into perspective.  They are abstract much as the astronomical distances between planets and stars are unrelated to common day scales of measure.  With petroleum use being such a charged topic, how can a rational, easily relatable discussion occur?

Here is an easy primer.  A barrel of oil is equal to 42 gallons.  According to the US Energy Information Administration’s the US annually consumes

2009        6.85 billion barrels of oil (18.77 million barrels per day)

2010        6.99 billion barrels of oil (19.15 million barrels per day)

Those numbers are mind numbingly unrelateable to me (and they have not yet been converted to gallons!)

According to the US Energy Information Administration’s most recent information (September 2010) an average 42 gallon barrel of oil yields 19-21 gallons of motor gasoline and 10 gallons of diesel.  These numbers vary with the grade of raw oil being processed and the time of year.

For simplicity, a 42-gallon barrel of oil yields 30 gallons of automotive fuel: 20 gallons of motor gasoline and 10 gallons of diesel.  That I understand.

So, when I fill up my truck’s 20 gallon fuel tank, it takes one barrel of oil.  If it were diesel, it would consume two barrels.  That is a number I can comprehend.  I can directly see how my choices affect this planet and what my personal oil consumption is.

How many barrels of oil do you use when filling your car, truck or SUV?

Are your actions and lifestyle consistent with your stated environmental views?

With this knowledge, will you make any changes regarding your driving habits or type of vehicle?