Fuel economy of new vehicles is up for the first time since last spring

Nov 18, 2011 By Bernie DeGroat

(PhysOrg.com) -- For the first time in seven months, average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States is on the rise, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Average fuel economy of cars, , minivans and SUVs purchased in October was 22.6 mpg, up from 22.1 mpg in September.

According to Michael Sivak, research professor and head of UMTRI's Human Factors Group, average fuel economy of all new vehicles bought last month is at its highest level since May and registered its first increase since March---when it hit an all-time high of 23 mpg.

"The increase is likely a consequence, in part, of the improved fuel economy of model year 2012 vehicles, which were introduced this fall," Sivak said.

Average fuel economy for new vehicles sold is now 2.5 better than just four years ago.

In addition to average fuel economy, Sivak and UMTRI colleague Brandon Schoettle issued their monthly update of their new national Eco-Driving Index, which estimates the average monthly of an individual U.S. driver. The EDI takes into account both vehicle fuel economy and distance driven---the latter relying on data that are published with a two-month lag.

For a third straight month (August), the EDI stood at 0.86. The index currently shows that emissions of per driver of newly purchased vehicles are down 14 percent since late 2007.

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that_guy
not rated yet Nov 18, 2011
Queue the political flame war about freedoms and regulations and big brother and all that other tired stuff.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Nov 18, 2011
It would be interesting to see trend charts for sales of cars vs. trucks and SUVs since 2007: is the general trend due more to shifting buying habits, or improving overall fuel economy? (Yes, both may be contributing, but I wonder which is more significant.)