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: Cooling the cloud: Ph.D. student sets sights on improving data-center efficiency

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

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

New methods to study sound generated by wind power plants

16 hours ago

A new two-year research project on sound produced by wind power plants was launched at Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT in May. In the study, the formation and dissemination of sound from wind power generators, ...

Hycopter stores energy in form of hydrogen, not air

May 20, 2015

Singapore-based Horizon Unmanned Systems (HUS) this month introduced the hycopter, which they said is the world's first hydrogen fuel cell-powered multi-rotor UAV. It uses refillable hydrogen tubes as part ...

Spark electric car's price sparks a sales run

May 20, 2015

It took a price cut to generate a run on Chevrolet's 2015 Spark EV, with savvy car buyers realizing the lower price and federal electric vehicle tax credit can make for a super deal.

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.