In January 1976, the Transportation Energy Conservation (TEC) Division of the Energy Research and Development Administration contracted with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to prepare a Transportation Energy Conservation Data Book to be used by TEC staff in their evaluation of current and proposed conservation strategies. The major purposes of the Data Book were to draw together, under one cover, transportation data from diverse sources, to resolve data conflicts and inconsistencies, and to produce a comprehensive document. The first edition of the TEC Data Book was published in October 1976. With the passage of the Department of Energy (DOE) Organization Act, the work being conducted by the former Transportation Energy Conservation Division fell under the purview of the DOE's Office of Transportation Programs. This work continues today in the Vehicle Technologies Program.
Policymakers and analysts need to be well-informed about activity in the transportation sector. The organization and scope of the data book reflect the need for different kinds of information. For this reason, Edition 31 updates much of the same type of data that is found in previous editions.
In any attempt to compile a comprehensive set of statistics on transportation activity, numerous instances of inadequacies and inaccuracies in the basic data are encountered. Where such problems occur, estimates are developed by ORNL. To minimize the misuse of these statistics, an appendix (Appendix A) is included to document the estimation procedures. The attempt is to provide sufficient information for the conscientious user to evaluate the estimates and to form their own opinions as to their utility. Clearly, the accuracy of the estimates cannot exceed the accuracy of the primary data, an accuracy which in most instances is unknown. In cases where data accuracy is known or substantial errors are strongly suspected in the data, the reader is alerted. In all cases it should be recognized that the estimates are not precise.
The majority of the statistics contained in the data book are taken directly from published sources, although these data may be reformatted for presentation by ORNL. Consequently, neither ORNL nor DOE endorses the validity of these data.