On-Road Fuels and Blendstocks

The Transportation Annual Technology Baseline (ATB) provides fuel price or cost and emissions for select on-road vehicle fuels, including gasoline and ethanol, ultra-low-sulfur diesel, natural gas, electricity, and hydrogen.

Fuel Scenarios

The Transportation ATB presents five fuel scenarios. The Transportation ATB data include fuel price and emissions. Finished fuel prices are meant to represent retail prices, and they include estimated taxes (for fuels that are currently taxed) and distribution costs. Blendstock data do not include taxes or distribution costs. For biofuels and hydrogen, we include detailed capital, fixed and variable operations and maintenance, throughput, yield, and coproduct data.

  • The Current Market scenario represents fuel price and emissions data for fuels that are commercially available, with exact source, timing, averaging, and other details described in the references. Fuel metrics are primarily based on the data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Fuel price may differ from retail prices because of market volatility and local market conditions. See specific notes and references for specific dates and averaging methods.
  • Current Modeled, Current Volume reflects fuel metrics based on techno-economic modeling of the current technology at current market production volume as specified in the notes and references.
  • Current Modeled, High Volume estimates fuel metrics based on based on techno-economic modeling of the current technology at high market production volume . Timing of this scenario depends on when high production volume is achieved.
  • Future Modeled, Low Volume represents fuel metrics based on a future technological state, modeled at low market production volume, as might be the case for a pioneer plant.
  • Future Modeled, High Volume represents fuel metrics based on a future technological state, modeled at high market production volume, often called "nth plant." Timing of this scenario depends on when high production volume is achieved.

A subset of fuels that are documented are represented in the vehicle charts in the Transportation ATB. The full set of vehicle and fuel data can be downloaded and explored.

The data and estimates include fuel price or cost and emissions for all fuels. Finished fuel prices are meant to represent retail prices, and they include estimated taxes where applicable. For biofuels and hydrogen, we include detailed capital, fixed and variable operations and maintenance, throughput, yield, and coproduct data. Scenarios include current market, current modeled, or future modeled conditions at low or high production volume scales, based on techno-economic modeling of potential technology advancement. Market data are provided based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Fuel emissions data are primarily from the GREET model. Single-point estimates of costs are provided in each case rather than a full time-series trajectory. Future Transportation ATBs may include fuel price trajectories for biofuels and hydrogen. For petroleum products, we use Annual Energy Outlook 2020 to generate high and low fuel prices. The high and low fuel prices are associated with particular years; because we do not provide a time-series trajectory, we show fuel price at a frozen level for all years so we can offer a range of fuel price values. In the levelized cost of driving and emissions charts, this approach clearly distinguishes effects of fuels from those of vehicle technologies because fuels remain constant while vehicle technologies change over time.


Developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.