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Gasoline explained Use of gasoline

Gasoline is the main U.S. transportation fuel

In 2018, Americans used about 143 billion gallons of motor gasoline—or about 391 million gallons per day—and 186 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.


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 2018, gasoline accounted for about 58% of total transportation sector energy consumption, 46% of total petroleum consumption, and 17% 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

1 Aviation gasoline and motor gasoline including fuel ethanol.

2 Estimates from the Annual Energy Outlook 2019, Reference case, Table 37, January 2019.

Last updated: June 24, 2019