- The average fuel economy for new vehicles sold during 2013 set an all-time record of 24.8 mpg.
- According to the latest report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, that represents an increase of 1 mpg from 2012.
- The report also found that greenhouse gas emissions have remained constant for six consecutive months.
ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The average fuel economy for new vehicles sold during 2013 set an all-time record of 24.8 mpg, according a new report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).
That 24.8-mpg "average sales-weighted fuel economy" figure represents an increase of 1 mpg from 2012 and is up 3.9 mpg from 2008, the first full year for which data was collected by the report's authors, Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle.
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."
UMTRI has also released the latest results from its Eco-Driving Index, an estimate of the average monthly greenhouse-gasses generated by an individual U.S. driver. The most recent data, from October 2013, show emissions holding steady at 0.80 (the lower the value the better) for the sixth straight month. That figure represents an improvement of 20 percent since October 2007, the earliest month for which calculations are available.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), part of the U.S. Department of Energy, we can expect the upswing in fuel economy to continue at a steady pace for some time to come. The EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Early Release Overview projects the efficiency of light-duty vehicles to increase 2 percent annually through 2040. That would result in an average of 37.2 mpg for all cars on the road at that time.
Note that these averages are not the same as the government-mandated corporate fuel economy (CAFE) standards, which measure unadjusted (i.e., not window-sticker reported) mileage. The latest CAFE standards call for 54.5 mpg by 2025.
Edmunds says : Car shoppers should be pleased with the increased average mileage reported by this study.