Opinions vary as to how much fuel is actually saved by vanpools. Estimates range from an optimistic 49,210 L/year (13,000 gal) to a conservative estimate of 5700 L/year (1500 gal). A reliable estimate is required by policy planners so that preferential treatment for vanpools with regard to fuel allocation can be justified. During the fall of 1978, drivers of 211 vans provided the information necessary to compute values for average trip length by van and automobile and vehicle occupancy rates for the van and automobile. Late in the following spring, 211 van passengers responded to a questionnaire designed to obtain estimates for van and automobile fuel-efficiency rates and the use of vehicles formerly used for commuting. Fuel savings were determined by substituting the values into a modified version of a model developed for the U.S. Department of Energy. The results indicate that the most probable saving per van in 17,400 L/year (4600 gal). This is based on 11.2 occupants/van, a previous vehicle occupancy of 1.47, an 86.6-km (53.8-mile) commute distance, vehicles left at home being driven 9.8 km/day (6.1 miles/day), 4.25 km/L (10 Miles/gal) for the van, and 6.8 km/L (15.9 miles/gal) for the previous vehicle. If the vanpoolers formerly drove by themselves in gas guzzlers that were disposed of immediately, the optimistic savings estimate is 30,280 L/year (8000 gal). If they drove the average fleet, carpooled some, and gave their previous cars to teenagers, a more pessimistic estimate of savings is 5700 L/year (1500 gal). (Authors)

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 23-26
  • Monograph Title: Transportation energy: data, forecasting, policy and models
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00331025
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309031079
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jun 12 1982 12:00AM