Market Snapshot: Retail pump sales of gasoline and diesel make up most of the transportation sector’s energy demand

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Release date: 2020-02-12

Over the last two decades, energy demand from Canada’s transportation sector has grown by 30%, from 2 065 petajoules (PJ) in 1995 to 2 858 PJ in 2018. Most of this growth was from retail pump sales, mainly for gasoline and diesel, which grew 583 PJ over the same time period. In 2018, retail pump sales made up 62% of the sector’s final energy demand.Footnote 1 Part of its growth is explained by a growing vehicle fleet and increasing distance travelled per road vehicle. Canadians’ increasing preference for larger vehicles also has an important impact on demand for gasoline and diesel. This trend is, however, partly offset by stricter fuel efficiency requirements.Footnote 2

Figure 1. Energy Demand from the Canadian Transportation Sector

Source and Description

Source: Statistics Canada, table 25-10-0029-01.

Description: This stacked column graph displays energy demand by transportation sub-sectors between 1995 and 2018. From 2 065 PJ in 1995, total transportation energy demand grew to 2 858 PJ in 2018. The largest sub-sector was retail pump sales, which grew from 1 200 PJ in 1995 to 1 783 PJ in 2017.

Since its peak in 2010, the share of the transportation sector’s energy demand from total energy demand in Canada has trended downward, from 34.5% in 2010 to 32.2% in 2018. This is because energy demand from other economic sectors, especially the industrial sector, is increasing at a faster rate.

Figure 2. Canadian Transportation Sector’s Share of Final Energy Use

Source and Description

Source: Statistics Canada, table 25-10-0029-01.

Description: This line chart illustrates the transportation sector’s share of total energy demand in Canada between 1995 and 2018. The transportation sector’s share of total energy demand increased from 30.7% in 1995 to a high of 34.5% in 2010. Since 2010, that share has decreased to 32.2% in 2018.

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