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Gasoline explained Use of gasoline

Gasoline is the main U.S. transportation fuel

In 2020, Americans used about 123 billion gallons of motor gasoline—or about 337 million gallons per day—and about 166 million gallons of aviation gasoline. Gasoline is one of the major fuels consumed in the United States and is the main product that U.S. oil refineries produce. Most of the motor gasoline sold for use in vehicles in the United States is about 10% fuel ethanol by volume.

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Most gasoline is used in cars and light trucks

Source: Stock photography (copyrighted)

U.S. consumers use gasoline in:

  • Cars, sport utility vehicles, light trucks, and motorcycles
  • Recreational vehicles and boats
  • Small aircraft
  • Equipment and tools used in construction, farming, forestry, and landscaping
  • Electricity generators for portable and emergency power supply

In 2020, total gasoline consumption accounted for about 59% of total transportation sector energy consumption, 44% of total petroleum consumption, and 16% of total U.S. energy consumption.1

Light-duty vehicles (cars, sport utility vehicles, and small trucks) account for about 92% of all gasoline consumption in the United States.2

Texas and California have the largest gasoline consumption

The amount of total gasoline use various among the states, but Texas and California together account for about one-fifth of total U.S. gasoline consumption.

Top five gasoline-consuming states, 2020
State Million barrels/day Million gallons/day Share of total U.S. motor gasoline consumption
Texas 0.85 35.82 11%
California 0.75 31.64 10%
Florida 0.42 17.73 5%
New York 0.31 12.84 4%
Ohio 0.29 12.18 4%

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum and Other Liquids—Prime Supplier Sales Volumes, as of May 24, 2021

1 Total gasoline includes aviation gasoline and motor gasoline including fuel ethanol.

2 Estimates from the Annual Energy Outlook 2021, Reference case, Table 36, February 2021.

Last updated: May 26, 2021