- The national average fuel economy for new cars sold in May rose to 25.6 mpg, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
- The latest average fuel economy is up 0.4 mpg from April and an increase of 5.5 mpg from October 2007, when researchers began collecting data.
- AAA reports that gas prices are holding steady at $3.66 per gallon and says to expect them to remain in the $3.50-$3.70 range throughout the summer.
ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The national average fuel economy for new cars sold in May rose to 25.6 mpg, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, while AAA reports that gas prices are roughly holding steady.
The most recent data from the Institute's Eco Driving Index show that the May average sales-weighted fuel economy for light vehicles is up 0.4 mpg from April and an increase of 5.5 mpg from October 2007, when researchers began collecting data.
The Institute calculates average sales-weighted fuel economy from monthly sales of light-duty vehicles (cars, SUVs, vans and pickups) and the combined city/highway EPA fuel economy ratings displayed on window stickers. Researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle note that fuel economy data was available for 99.8 percent of vehicles purchased in May.
Meanwhile, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the nationwide average price for a gallon of regular gas stands at $3.66, compared to $3.67 last month.
AAA says to expect fuel prices to remain in the $3.55-$3.70 range throughout the summer but cautions that major refinery disruptions, geopolitical concerns or a damaging hurricane season could send prices higher than forecast.
"While it is impossible to predict the exact price of gasoline, we can guarantee that millions of Americans will pay high prices as they hit the roads this summer," said AAA spokesman Avery Ash in a statement. "Expect a feeling of déjà vu with gasoline costing about the same as last summer."
Average national fuel prices in summer 2013 ranged from a low of $3.47 on July 6 to a high of $3.67 on July 22, according to AAA. Gas prices nationally averaged $3.58 per gallon from Memorial Day through Labor Day last year. The most expensive year for summer driving was 2008, when prices averaged $3.95 per gallon.
Edmunds says: It's good news for car shoppers that vehicle fuel economy is improving, because it doesn't seem that fuel is getting any cheaper.