Alaska Trends


ehicles are a home away from home—or rather a home between home and anywhere else. They are liminal spaces, neither origin nor destination, and only when in motion do they fulfill their teleological potential. Vehicles also have engines that go VROOM!

In this edition of Alaska Trends, we put some numbers on the impact of vehicles, particularly land vehicles. To start with, how many roads are there? The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) classifies pavement and its maintenance jurisdiction; all but 18.6 miles of the 2,019 miles of interstate-grade highways and principal arterials are the state’s direct responsibility.

DOT&PF also tracks usage of roads in terms of millions of vehicle miles, which doesn’t exactly parallel the population registered with the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles. That figure seems to reveal the long shadow of the statewide economic recession, whereas miles traveled reflects the sudden stay at home in 2020. The fuel consumption trend is flatter, perhaps thanks to greater efficiency per mile. The US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center tracks carbon emissions, with some surprising results for gasoline-hybrid cars versus plug-in hybrids that draw grid electricity.

Let’s fasten seatbelts and find out what’s under the hood.

In pounds of CO2 equivalent
digital illustration of different emissions for vehicles
Alaska has 17,681 MILES OF ROADS
clipart of a car with a lightning bold on top of it
2/3 of Battery Electric Vehicles in Anchorage are Teslas
DMV registered vehicles
clipart of 5 gas cans, two with the letter D and three with the letter G
Alaska produced 208M GALLONS of diesel & 273M GALLONS of gasoline in 2020
outline drawing of a motorcycle and snowmobile
There are 1.5 snowmachines for every motorcycle in Alaska.
is home to the Northern-most Flash Charge charging station
digital illustration of a electric cars driving around the globe
Total Coverage
It would take more than 6M CARS, fender to fender, to cover all of Alaska’s roads.
Gallons of Gasoline Equivalent used annually
key for bar graph
chart showing how much money was made per year on gallons of gasoline