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Freight Facts and Figures 2011

Table 5-11. Energy Intensities of Domestic Freight Transportation Modes: 2007-2009

Energy intensity is the amount of energy used in producing a given level of output or activity, in this case vehicle miles and ton miles. In recent years, the energy intensity of trucking has remained stable, while rail has improved slightly.

Table in Excel format

Blank cell. 2007 2008 2009
Highway1 (Btu per vehicle mile) (R) 21,238 (R) 21,008 21,127
Railroad (Class I) (Btu per freight car mile) 14,846 14,573 13,907
Railroad (Class I) (Btu per ton mile) 320 305 291

Key: Btu = British thermal unit; R = revised.

1Based on a new methodology, FHWA revised its annual vehicle miles travelled, number of vehicles, and fuel economy data beginning with 2007. Energy intensity data is based on FHWA fuel use methodology. Information on the new methodology is available at Data in this table should not be compared to those in previous editions of Freight Facts and Figures.


Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 30 (Oak Ridge, TN: annual issues), table 2.15, available at as of August 19, 2011.


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