All research publications of the Fuels Institute will represent the work product of the Fuels Institute alone, and will not be presented as reflecting the individual positions of any member of the Board of Advisors, the associated Task Group, or any organization helping to fund the research.

Alternative Fuels and Powertrains

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Electric Vehicle Adoption: Focus on Charging

An evaluation of the electric vehicle market from the consumer perspective, including total cost of ownership, recharging infrastructure requirements, anticipated consumer recharging behavior, and the relationship of EVs to competing technology in terms of consumer adoption.

Date: June 01, 2020 PDF: 5.32 MB
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Biomass-Based Diesel: A Market and Performance Analysis

Biomass-Based Diesel: A Market and Performance Analysis is a comprehensive overview of the current U.S. biomass-based diesel (biodiesel and renewable diesel) market, including supply, elasticity of demand, distribution, blending patterns, performance & efficiency characteristics. The study also evaluates the effects economic incentives and regulatory mandates have on retailers’ decisions to sell or consumer decisions to buy biomass-based diesel and what conditions would have to exist for the market to thrive without those incentives and regulations.

Date: March 25, 2020 PDF: 3.5 MB
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Retailing Biofuels: A Guide to Reading Applicable Federal Regulations

This report compiles all of the federal regulations and third party standards applicable to storing and selling biofuels, including those mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Trade Commission and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The report will assist retailers and other interested stakeholders keep up with new liquid fuel offerings by serving as the single resource needed to navigate applicable federal regulations, liability concerns, penalties for non-compliance and compliance options.

Date: November 12, 2019 PDF: 202 KB
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Literature Review Summary - Supercharged: The Environmental Impact of Electric Vehicles

The electric vehicle (EV) has earned a reputation for being eco-friendly, but tailpipe emissions capture just a snapshot of their complete environmental impact. The Fuels Institute undertook a literature review to assess how the lifecycle of an EV impacts the environment as compared to that of the internaI combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

Date: October 29, 2019 PDF: 0.99MB
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The Case of E15

A comprehensive assessment, presented as individual case studies, of retailer experiences selling E15, including the decision process, requirements to sell E15, equipment configurations, marketing strategy and consumer response.

Date: February 01, 2018 PDF: 5 MB
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Retailing E85: An Analysis of Market Performance, July 2014-August 2015

Analysis of the E85 retail market over a 13-month period from 620 E85 retail locations.

Date: March 23, 2017 PDF: 11.5 MB
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GHG Emissions from Light Duty Vehicles Powered by Natural Gas

A new paper written by Carnegie Mellon University examines the environmental benefits of light-duty vehicles using natural gas as a transportation fuel.

Date: October 01, 2015 PDF: 4.93MB
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GHG Emissions from Medium and Heavy Duty Vehicles Powered by Natural Gas

A new paper written by Carnegie Mellon University examines the environmental benefits of medium and heavy-duty vehicles using natural gas as a transportation fuel.

Date: August 01, 2015 PDF: 10.0MB
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E85 - A Market Performance Analysis and Forecast

E85 is subject to the fuel specification standard used by ASTM which applies to fuel blends that contain 51% - 83% ethanol. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) uses an average ethanol concentration of 74% for its evaluations.

Date: November 01, 2014 PDF: 3.04 MB

Consumer Behavior

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Driving Vehicle Sales – Utility, Affordability and Efficiency

An analysis of vehicle sales by segment (truck, small car, SUV, etc.) and powertrain (gasoline, diesel, hybrid, electric) in relation to the volatility of fuel prices over the years. The report also compares how the purchase price and fuel efficiency of each vehicle affects consumer purchasing decisions.

Date: July 30, 2018 PDF: 2 MB
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Consumers and Alternative Fuels 2017

This report is based upon an annual consumer survey exploring the attributes most important to consumers when buying a new vehicle, including the importance of alternative powertrains such as electric and diesel powered vehicles. The report analyzes survey results in terms of fuel prices and vehicle sales to better understand consumer choice and the relationship between what consumers say they might do and what they do in actuality. The survey data itself is a strong indication of where consumer behavior may trend in the future, despite actual recorded behavior at dealership sales lots.

Date: December 08, 2017 PDF: 5 MB
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Shared Travel: Revolution or Evolution?

An In-Depth Fleet Analysis of Shared Urban Mobility.

Date: April 18, 2016 PDF: 4.87 MB
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Fuel Prices and Auto Sales

A new study examines the widespread notion that retail fuel prices have a direct correlation on consumer vehicle purchasing behavior. By analyzing the relationship between vehicle sales and retail fuel prices over the past five years, we aim to better understand how consumers are making their decisions.

Date: July 01, 2015 PDF: 260KB
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Driver Demographics – The American Population’s Effect on Vehicle Travel and Fuel Demand

An analysis of the historic growth and stabilization of vehicle-miles traveled, through a demographic examination of drivers and driver behavior.

Date: December 01, 2014 PDF: 7.46MB
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Consumers and Diesel: Potential Conflict Between Fuel Economy and Cost

A new consumer study examines consumer preferences toward diesel fuel and finds that while all consumers seek economic benefits, different consumer segments value different economic factors, and that these different needs all must be addressed in communicating diesel fuel's cost benefits.

Date: October 01, 2014 PDF: 210.65 KB
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Consumers and Alternative Fuels: Economics Are Top of Mind

An analysis of what consumer are looking for when purchasing a vehicle and how they feel about alternative powertrains and fuels.

Date: April 01, 2014 PDF: 220 KB

Fuel Market Dynamics

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Analysis of the Potential for Increasing Octane in the U.S. Fuel Supply

A white paper written by the Fuels Institute discussing findings from the Fuels Institute’s Octane report in the context of research done by Co-Optima, USCAR and evolving policy discussions relative to HOF. The analysis presented in this white paper is exclusively that of the Fuels Institute and does not reflect the opinion of any third party source of information.

Date: March 21, 2019 PDF: 4 MB
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Transitioning the U.S. Gasoline Pool to a Single High-Octane Fuel: A Baseline Analysis

This report presents an understanding of the options for and feasibility of transitioning the market to a national high-octane fuel (HOF) to enable more fuel-efficient vehicle technologies. The report assesses the scalability and cost of viable fuel formulations, regulatory implementation strategies and potential consumer acceptance of a new fuel. It is meant to provide an analytical framework and a set of baseline results to facilitate further analysis of the possible transition of the U.S. gasoline pool to a national HOF.

Date: March 21, 2019 PDF: 13 MB
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Assessment of the U.S. Fuel Distribution Network

The U.S. lays claim to one of the largest and most complex fuel-supply chains in the world. This report evaluates this supply chain, how it works and what limitations/weaknesses exist at each point to accommodate diverse fuel specifications and achieving higher rates of biofuels penetration.

Date: December 01, 2016 PDF: 9 MB
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An Assessment of the Diesel Fuel Market: Demand, Supply, Trade and Key Drivers

Developed by the PIRA Energy Group, this report was commissioned by the Fuels Institute to analyze domestic diesel fuel demand, production capacity, international demand and trade balances, as well as the various programs and requirements that might affect overall diesel demand.

Date: October 01, 2014 PDF: 2.36 MB

Market Impact of Regulations

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Mexico Energy Reform Update: The Current Mexican Gasoline & Diesel Market

In January 2020, the Fuels Institute published Mexico’s Energy Reform: Impact of Mexico’s Deregulation and Liberalization of the Fuels Market. That report analyzed the Mexican fuels and vehicles market and evaluated the demand for fuel as well as the status of Mexico’s fuel distribution and retail infrastructure. More than one year after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected, market conditions and the outlook for the fuels market in Mexico have changed. As a signatory nation of the U.S.—Mexico—Canada Agreement (USMCA), the status of Mexico’s energy reform is of significant importance to the entire North American market. This white paper, written for the Fuels Institute by HCX (the author of the original 2020 report), provides an early 2021 update of the Mexican fuels and transportation market under the leadership of the new administration.

Date: March 31, 2021 PDF: 5MB
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Mexico's Energy Reform: Impact of Mexico's Deregulation and Liberalization of the Fuels Market

This report analyzes the impact of the recently implemented Energy Reform on the country’s present and future fuel demand, distribution and retail infrastructure, regulatory programs and composition of the vehicles market as well as the impact on U.S. market dynamics.

Date: January 24, 2020 PDF: 5.33 MB
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IMO 2020 Literature Review

A summary of more than 30 reports evaluating the impact of the International Maritime’s rule lowering marine sulfur limits to 0.5% mass/mass, effective January 1, 2020. The rule will affect the vehicle fuels market since refinery operations will have to change to meet the new marine fuel standard. Headlines have varied from the alarmist to the blasé, which is why the Fuels Institute undertook this literature review. By assessing the analysis from leading experts in the market, this report provides a more even-keel, objective overview of the potential market implications of the Rule.

Date: April 11, 2019 PDF: 568 KB
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Market Reactions to Low Carbon Fuel Standard Programs

A comprehensive review of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) to provide insight into the success and challenges of the program. The report includes the LCFS program’s evolving regulatory adjustments and compliance strategies, impacts on fuel supply and prices, and its effects on market participants.

Date: February 22, 2019 PDF: 6 MB
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Global Initiatives: Assessing Current & Future Global Initiatives on Fuels & Vehicles

"Global Initiatives" discusses and compares the current and future governmental regulations affecting the fuels and vehicles market. Along with highlighting trends in initiatives, the report also gives a fantastic overview of where these regulations are currently being implemented and how fast they are spreading across the world. Global efforts to address transport-related greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, as well as mitigate congestion in major cities will have a noticeable impact on the fuels and vehicles markets world-wide. This report lends critical insight into the slate of options being considered and implemented, as well as the scope and the pace at which such initiatives are being adopted, thus shedding light on the future development of the transportation market as a whole.

Date: November 17, 2017 PDF: 11 MB

Market Trends

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State of Transportation Energy and Vehicle Electrification

The transportation market is transitioning to lower-carbon-intense sources of energy and more efficient use of existing energy resources, but the transition is proceeding at an evolutionary pace. While many are advocating a rapid transition to an electrified transportation market, this report takes an objective look at the realities of the market and the broad mix of powertrains moving people from one place to another.

Date: August 21, 2020 PDF: 1.2 MB
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2018 Case Competition: Fuel Retailing in 2040

Fuels Institute’s 2018 Case Competition submissions of the winning team, two semi-finalists and two honorable mentions.

Date: December 03, 2018 PDF: 7 MB
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2017 Case Competition: Introducing a New Transportation Energy System

Fuels Institute's 2017 Case Competition submissions of the winning team, two semi-finalists, and two honorable mentions.

Date: August 11, 2017 PDF: 8.46 MB
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Tomorrow's Vehicles

"Tomorrow's Vehicles" is a series of three reports forecasting the market shares of the vehicles expected to be sold and driven in the United States and Canada through the year 2025, the current target date of federal fuel efficiency standards. Utilizing current market conditions and trends, the reports forecast sales and registrations of light and medium/heavy duty vehicles, broken down by powertrain, and each market segment's relative fuel consumption through 2025. As performance and efficiency regulations become increasingly stringent, it is vital to shed some light on the potential impact on the vehicles and fuel industries - "Tomorrow's Vehicles" offers reliable projections of the type and pace of expected change to these industries over the next several years.

Date: June 17, 2017 PDF: 376 KB
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New Technology Adoption Curves - A Case Study on Delivering E25-Capable Vehicles to Market

Our latest report - a case study exploring the time it would take a new technology to reach 20% vehicle market share (the percentage of market penetration we believe sufficient to satisfy consumer demand). The case study evaluates how many vehicles equipped to operate on E25 must be sold each year to achieve a 20% share of vehicles on the road by a certain moment in time. The case study serves as an example of what will be required to achieve significant market penetration for any new technology.

Date: June 13, 2017 PDF: 856 KB
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Urbanization - The Effect of Urban Development on U.S. Vehicle Travel And Fuel Demand

An evaluation of more than 100 years of urban development in the U.S. from the perspective of individual mobility.

Date: May 22, 2017 PDF: 411 KB
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2016 Fuels Institute Case Competition - Future of Transportation

University case competition featuring the complete submissions by students from UC Berkeley, Duke, Morgan State, Clemson and University of Colorado at Boulder.

Date: June 19, 2016 PDF: 7.83 MB
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2015 University Case Competition

First-ever student case competition featuring the complete submissions by students from the University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University and University of Texas at Dallas.

Date: July 01, 2015 PDF: 2.17MB
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Tomorrow's Vehicles? What will we drive in 2023?

Innovation in the vehicles market is moving forward at a very rapid pace, but is that pace fundamentally changing the future composition of the fuels market? According to market forecasts completed for the Fuels Institute by Navigant Research, the answer is “yes,” but only to a limited degree. Within the next 10 years, alternative fuel drivetrains will gain market share. However, traditional petroleum-powered internal combustion engines will continue to dominate.

Date: November 01, 2013 PDF: 3.29 MB