Fuel use of road transport

Fuel consumption is the biggest contributor to the lifecycle impact of vehicles. This indicator reports the type and amount of fuel used for road transport, expressed in petajoules (PJ).

225 PJ

  • Between 2015 and 2018, the fuel use of road transport remained rather constant, with a consumption value of 225 PJ in 2018.
  • Diesel represents around 76% of the total fuel consumption.

What do we see? 

Considering that almost all truck transport and the majority of car transport still relies on diesel vehicles, it comes as no surprise that diesel is still the fuel with the highest consumption rate (76%). Consumption increased between 2013 and 2015, peaking at 185 PJ, then decreased again to 172 PJ in 2018. The growth in consumption could be related to economic evolution, while the decrease could be due to a drop in the popularity of diesel cars. Since there is now a ban on diesel cars in major Flemish cities, consumption is expected to decrease further. However, due to the increasing number of trucks, diesel consumption will remain significant.



The second most used fuel type is petrol (18%). Its consumption slightly decreased at the beginning of the reporting period and then increased from 2013 onwards, to reach a consumption value of 39 PJ in 2018. Since most passenger cars use petrol, the trend for petrol consumption roughly follows the same as for car kilometres driven. We can link this consumption to the number of cars and their use intensity.

Finally, there are still the alternative vehicles that run on biofuels with a much lower consumption (5%) and cars that run on CNG and LPG, which have negligible consumption. Although the trend is increasing, these vehicles currently only make up 3.8% of the total number of cars. A higher share of biofuels could reduce our material and carbon footprints, so we still have a long way to go.

What’s the aim?

The use and production of fuels make up the largest amount of material consumed during the lifecycle of vehicles. Consequently, a reduction in the use of fossil fuels such as diesel and petrol would mean a lower material and carbon footprint and lower emissions. This, in combination with an increase in alternative types of fuel, could reduce the impact of fuel use in road transport. However, the production of alternative and non-fossil fuels such as biofuels and electricity has an impact too. This needs to be studied more carefully for future CE monitoring.

What does this indicator measure?

This indicator measures the type and amount of fuel used for road transport, expressed in petajoules. Data on the amount of fossil fuels used for road transport in Flanders is provided by the Flemish Environmental Report (MIRA). The data refers to the energy balance of Flanders, provided by VITO, and takes into account both passenger and freight transport vehicles.

Discover more topics

New cars on the market
628,323 cars

New cars on the market

This indicator shows the number of newly registered cars entering the market. The number includes all newly registered cars,...
Mass of new cars on the market
1,604 kg

Mass of new cars on the market

This indicator reports the average mass of new cars on the market in Flanders. In other words, it describes...
Emissions and Ecoscores of new cars on the market
108.4 g CO₂-eq./km

Emissions and Ecoscores of new cars on the market

This indicator reports the Ecoscore values and CO2 emissions of new cars on the market in Flanders. It provides...
Total emissions of road transport
14,400 kton CO₂-eq.

Total emissions of road transport

This indicator measures the impact of fuel use in Flanders by providing data on the related greenhouse gas emissions...
Mileage of cars at end of life
192,593 km

Mileage of cars at end of life

This indicator measures the average mileage of cars when they are returned to official demolition centres. It aims to...
Age of cars at end of life
18.1 years

Age of cars at end of life

This indicator measures the average age of cars when they are returned to official demolition centres. It aims to...
Valorisation of end-of-life cars via official demolition
97.6% recovered

Valorisation of end-of-life cars via official demolition

This indicator gives information on the valorisation of demolished end-of-life cars in Belgium. The reported values show the weighted...
Valorisation of old tyres
101% collected

Valorisation of old tyres

This indicator presents the collection rate of tyres in Belgium, divided into the different downstream processing routes as applied...