Fuel economy hit record-high last month

March 5, 2014
Bernie DeGroat

A hand on a gas pump filling up a car's gas tank. (stock image)ANN ARBOR—For the fifth straight month, gas mileage of new vehicles sold in the U.S. topped 25 mpg and was at a record-high 25.2 mpg in February, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Average fuel economy (window-sticker values) of cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs purchased last month was up 2.5 mpg from just three years ago and up 5.1 mpg from October 2007, the first full month of monitoring, according to UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle.

In addition to average fuel economy, Sivak and Schoettle issued a 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 the fuel used per distance driven and the amount of driving—the latter relying on data that are published with a two-month lag.

For the second consecutive month, the EDI registered its best mark ever at 0.78 (the lower the value, the better) during December. The index currently shows that emissions of greenhouse gases per driver of newly purchased vehicles are down 22 percent, overall, since October 2007.


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