- The national average fuel economy for new cars sold in June dipped slightly to 25.5 mpg, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
- The latest average fuel economy is down 0.1 mpg from the all-time record high in May but up 5.4 mpg from October 2007, when researchers began collecting data.
- AAA reported on Thursday that gas prices nationwide are averaging $3.66 per gallon versus $3.47 per gallon a year ago.
ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The national average fuel economy for new cars sold in June dipped slightly to 25.5 mpg, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, while AAA on Thursday reported that gas prices are averaging $3.66 per gallon.
The most recent data from the Institute's Eco Driving Index show that the June average sales-weighted fuel economy for light vehicles is down 0.1 mpg from the all-time record high in May but up 5.4 mpg from October 2007, when researchers began collecting data.
According to UMTRI: "The average sales-weighted fuel economy was calculated from the monthly sales of individual models of light-duty vehicles (cars, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks) and the combined city/highway fuel-economy ratings published in the EPA Fuel Economy Guide (i.e., window sticker ratings) for the respective models."
Researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle note that fuel economy data was available for 99.8 percent of vehicles purchased in June, and the latest figures include corrections in EPA ratings for the Ford vehicles that were issued on June 11.
As previously reported by Edmunds, Ford identified a testing error and in June lowered the fuel economy ratings for six of its vehicles, including 2013 and 2014 hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, as well as most 2014 Fiestas.
AAA says U.S. drivers will pay the highest Fourth of July gas prices since 2008, primarily because violence in Iraq has caused an increase in global petroleum costs. Despite the relatively higher price of fuel, AAA predicts that 34.8 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles by car during the holiday weekend.
"Most drivers are paying about 15-20 cents more per gallon than expected heading into the busy Independence Day weekend due to market fear about Iraq," said AAA spokesman Avery Ash in a statement. "It is frustrating that events overseas will make it more expensive to celebrate Fourth of July here at home."
Even with the higher nationwide average, AAA reports that drivers in some states are actually paying less for gas than a year ago. These states include Utah (-8 cents), Idaho (-6 cents), Montana (-1 cent) and Colorado (-0.1 cent).
Meanwhile, 40 states are experiencing price increases of 10 cents or more per gallon compared to this time last year. Those with the largest increases are Michigan (+42 cents), Kentucky (+37 cents) and Ohio (+30 cents).
Edmunds says: If AAA's predictions are correct, fuel prices will not deter U.S. travel over the Fourth of July weekend.