Fuel economy of new vehicles slipped in December

Jan 11, 2012 by Bernie DeGroat
Image: University of Michigan

(PhysOrg.com) -- After two months of increases, the average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States fell by a half mile per gallon last month, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Average fuel economy of cars, , minivans and SUVs purchased in December 2011 was 22.2 mpg, down from 22.7 mpg in November and 22.6 in October.

According to Michael Sivak, research professor and head of UMTRI's Human Factors Group, average fuel economy of all new vehicles bought last month was down from 22.3 in December 2010, but up slightly from 22.0 in December 2009.

The all-time high of 23 mpg occurred in March 2011. Average fuel economy for new vehicles sold is now up about two from just four years ago.

In addition to average fuel economy, Sivak and UMTRI colleague Brandon Schoettle issued their monthly update of their national Eco-Driving Index, which estimates the average monthly emissions generated by 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.

During October 2011, the EDI stood at 0.85, down from 0.87 in September and 0.86 in August. The index currently shows that of per driver of newly purchased vehicles are down 15 percent since October 2007.

Explore further: Imec demonstrates organic photovoltaics modules showing excellent optical properties, high efficiencies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fuel economy of new vehicles continues to rise

Dec 06, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States is up for the second straight month, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Higher gas prices help reduce emissions

Aug 03, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Less driving and greater vehicle fuel economy aren't the only byproducts of higher gas prices—lower carbon dioxide emissions is another benefit, say University of Michigan researchers.

Recommended for you

Yale engineer to build 'hot' solar cells

21 hours ago

Associate professor of electrical engineering Minjoo Larry Lee has been awarded $2,540,000 to develop dual-junction solar cells that can operate efficiently at extreme temperatures above 750 degrees Fahrenheit. ...

Fracking's environmental impacts scrutinised

22 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Greenhouse gas emissions from the production and use of shale gas would be comparable to conventional natural gas, but the controversial energy source actually faired better than renewables on some environmental ...

User comments : 0