Fuel economy of all new
vehicles sold in the United States
has topped 24 mpg for the first time ever, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research
Average fuel economy
(window-sticker values) of cars, light trucks, minivans, and SUVs purchased in
March was 24.1 mpg, up from 23.9 in February and 23.6 in January, and now 20%
(4 mpg) higher than October 2007, the first month of monitoring by UMTRI
researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle.
In addition to average fuel
economy, Sivak and Schoettle issued their 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 vehicle fuel economy and distance
driven—the latter relying on data that are published with a two-month lag.
During January, the EDI
stood at 0.83, an improvement from 0.86 in December (the lower the value, the
better). The index currently shows that emissions of greenhouse gases per
driver of newly purchased vehicles are down 17%, overall, since October 2007.
Finally, Sivak and
Schoettle report for the first time the unadjusted Corporate Average Fuel
Economy (CAFE) performance. This index is based on a different set of EPA
ratings than window-sticker values.
For March, unadjusted CAFE
performance was 29.6 mpg, an increase of 20 percent (4.9 mpg) since October