The transportation sector (including air and marine bunkers) in 2010 consumed around 2400 Mtoe of energy (© OECD/IEA, WEO 2012). There is in this sector massive potential for energy efficiency. In the light road vehicles segment, the energy consumption is mostly by individual cars and two-wheelers (# OECD/IEA, Transport 2009). Modern motorization technologies offer considerable fuel savings versus older technologies. Besides motorization, aerodynamics and materials substitution to lighten weight (notably in maritime and air transportation) also offer potential for energy efficiency.
One main issue in energy efficiency in the transportation sector is the very low replacement rate of cars. As a result, the energy consumption of the sector keeps growing. Proactive actions to deploy motorization technologies would have a considerable impact on the energy performance of the sector, and help tame the energy consumption growth of the sector. Up to 31% of the total energy consumption in the transportation sector could be saved.
Finally, beyond vehicle technology deployment, smarter transportation is possible. The bulk of transportation inefficiency lies in short-distance travel, particularly daily commuting. Replacing short-distance transportation by cars with public transportation or non-motorized vehicles, developing car sharing/pooling, and supporting remote work and e-business are among the solutions to increase drastically the energy efficiency of this sector.