- The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in November reached a record high of 24.8 mpg, according to a report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
- The average fuel economy of new light-duty vehicles has increased 4.7 mpg since researchers began collecting data in 2007.
- The report also stated that greenhouse-gas emissions have held steady for the fifth consecutive month.
ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in November reached a record high of 24.8 mpg, according to a report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
The November mileage figure is up 0.1 mpg from the prior month's average and an increase of 4.7 mpg since the report's authors, Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle, began collecting data in October 2007.
According to UMTRI, the "average sales-weighted fuel economy" figure was calculated by taking into account the reported monthly sales of cars, SUVs, vans and pickup trucks and merging that data with EPA combined city/highway mileage ratings for each model sold.
The Institute says fuel-economy information was available for 99.8 percent of vehicles purchased in November.
At the same time, UMTRI released its latest Eco-Driving Index, a calculation of average monthly greenhouse-gas emissions produced by a new light-duty vehicle purchased during the month. For the fifth consecutive month, the index held steady at 0.80. The lower the number the better, with the latest scores compared against a base score of 1 from October 2007, when Sivak and Schoettle began collecting data.
The Eco-Driving Index is based on the amount of fuel used by a given vehicle. Since the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by an internal-combustion engine is proportionate to fuel consumption, the calculation takes into account two variables: the EPA-rated fuel economy of the vehicle and distance driven.
Average distance driven comes from data collected by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and is adjusted to take into account such factors as seasonal variations (i.e., more driving in summer than winter), number of days in any given month and the number of licensed drivers on the road.
The latest Eco-Driving Index figures available, from September 2013, indicate a 20 percent reduction in light-vehicle emissions compared to October 2007.
Edmunds says: Good news for car shoppers who are also concerned about prices at the pump.