Fuel economy slipped as gas prices dipped throughout April

May 09, 2012 by Bernie DeGroat

(Phys.org) -- After recently topping 24 miles per gallon for the first time ever, fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States slipped back below that mark last month, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Average (window-sticker values) of cars, , minivans and SUVs purchased in April was 23.9 , down from 24.1 in March, but the same as in February. Despite the drop, fuel economy is up 3.8 mpg (or 19 percent) from October 2007, the first month of monitoring by UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle.

"The decline likely reflects the slight reduction in the price of gasoline during the second half of April," Sivak said.

In addition to average fuel economy, Sivak and 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 February, the EDI stood at 0.81, an improvement from 0.83 in January and 0.86 in December (the lower the value, the better). The index currently shows that of greenhouse gases per driver of newly purchased vehicles are down 19 percent, overall, since October 2007.

Finally, Sivak and Schoettle report the unadjusted Corporate Average Fuel Economy performance. This index is based on a different set of EPA ratings than window-sticker values.

For April, unadjusted CAFE performance was 29.3 mpg, down from 29.6 mpg in March, but an increase of 19 percent (4.6 mpg) since October 2007.

Explore further: US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

More information: Fuel economy calculations, along with a graph and table of current and recent mpg: www.umich.edu/~umtriswt/EDI_sales-weighted-mpg.html

Eco-Driving Index calculations, along with a graph and table of current and recent values: www.umich.edu/~umtriswt/EDI_values.html

Unadjusted CAFE performance, along with a graph and table of current and recent mpg: www.umich.edu/~umtriswt/EDI_sales-weighted-CAFE.html

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.

Fuel economy of new vehicles slipped in December

Jan 11, 2012

(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 ...

Gas mileage of new vehicles at all-time high

Feb 14, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States last month was at its highest mark ever, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Recommended for you

Switch on sunlight for a brighter future

5 hours ago

Imagine sitting in a windowless room yet having the feeling of the sun shining on your face. This unique experience is now possible thanks to the COELUX EU-funded project which recreates the physical and ...

US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

21 hours ago

Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change.

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

Apr 23, 2014

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...

Finalists named in Bloomberg European city contest

Apr 23, 2014

Amsterdam wants to create an online game to get unemployed young people engaged in finding jobs across Europe. Schaerbeek, Belgium, envisions using geothermal mapping to give households personalized rundowns of steps to save ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Argiod
1 / 5 (1) May 09, 2012
Topping 24mpg? My old 1971 VW van got 28mpg city, and 32mpg highway back in the mid 80's.
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet May 10, 2012
Ya, the original Model T got better gas mileage.

It is long past time to shut down the worthless and corrupt American State.

More news stories

Facebook buys fitness app Moves

Facebook has bought the fitness app Moves, which helps users monitor daily physical activity and their calorie counts on a smartphone.

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.

Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live i ...