A car is refueled at a California gas station in November 2013. Stricter fuel-economy standards are expected to lead to a decline in gasoline consumption, the EIA says.

As Fuel Standards Tighten, Gas Consumption to Fall

Gasoline consumption is expected to decline through 2040. Diesel use, though, is expected to rise.

A car is refueled at a California gas station in November 2013. Stricter fuel-economy standards are expected to lead to a decline in gasoline consumption, the EIA says.

A car is refueled at a California gas station in November 2013. Stricter fuel-economy standards are expected to lead to a decline in gasoline consumption, the EIA says.

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Good news for green groups and your greenbacks.

As stricter fuel standards force cars to guzzle far less fuel over the next few decades, gasoline consumption is expected to decline substantially by 2040, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Thursday.

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“One of the primary drivers of the decrease in motor gasoline consumption is more stringent fuel economy standards that … will require new light-duty vehicles to average about 49 miles per gallon in vehicle model year 2025,” an EIA report said.

Vehicles from model year 2012 and later now are required to get an estimated 33 mpg.

Gasoline consumption is projected to fall over the next few decades. Diesel consumption and exports of oil products, by contrast, are expected to rise.
Gasoline consumption is projected to fall over the next few decades. Diesel consumption and exports of oil products, by contrast, are expected to rise.

Yet even as gas consumption is predicted to fall, the use of diesel fuel and exports of refined oil products – such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel and chemicals – are projected to increase.

[READ: Administration Eases Oil-Export Ban]

Even though the Environmental Protection Agency has unveiled new fuel-efficiency standards for tractor-trailers and other heavy-duty trucks, there will also likely be an increase in the number of miles traveled by such vehicles. The reason, the EIA said: as the economy continues to grow, more trucks will be on the road, accumulating miles and consuming diesel as they haul freight from Point A to Point B.

Exports of oil products, meanwhile, will be fueled by the domestic oil boom in the Midwest, which is expected to continue for at least the next few decades. 

“The United States became a net exporter of finished petroleum products in 2011, with net petroleum product exports [expected to keep] growing … through 2040,” the EIA report said.