U-M Study: Fuel Economy Continues To Rise

DETROIT (WWJ) – The fuel economy of new vehicles continues to rise according to one university study. WWJ Newsradio 950’s Gary Lundy reports on the details from the latest study.

The average fuel economy of current model year vehicles is higher than just four years ago.

Researchers at the University of Michigan say the average fuel economy of current model year vehicles is about 14% higher that it was in 2008.

For all 2012 light-duty vehicles including cars, pickup trucks, minivans, vans and SUVs, the average mpg is 21.5, compared to 18.9 mpg in 2008.

The averages have increased each year since then. And the study shows that despite the recent economic downturn and rising fuel prices, there’s been a growing interest for consumers to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The study found that average fuel economy:

  • Improved 2.8 mpg for cars (including station wagons) and 1.6 mpg for light trucks (pickups, minivans, vans and SUVs) from model year 2008 to model year 2012. Average fuel economy is currently 23.4 mpg for cars and 18.6 mpg for light trucks.
  • Increased for all 12 vehicle-size classes between the 2008 and 2012 model years. The largest increases were 4.1 mpg for station wagons, which had the highest average 2012 rating of 26 mpg, and 3.8 mpg for compact cars, which had the second-highest average of 25.6 mpg. The smallest increases were 0.2 mpg for full-size vans, which had the lowest average 2012 rating of 13.4 mpg, and 0.4 mpg for small pickup trucks, which had the third-lowest average of 18.6 mpg.
  •  Increased 2.5 mpg for vehicles with automatic transmissions and 2.8 mpg for vehicles with manual transmissions; 2.3 mpg for four-cylinder engines and 1.4 mpg for six-cylinder engines; and 3.4 mpg for front-wheel drive vehicles and 2 mpg for four- or all-wheel drive vehicles from model year 2008 to model year 2012.
  • Improved 9.8 mpg for diesel engines and 2.6 mpg for conventional gasoline engines, but dropped 3 mpg for hybrids, which are still more fuel-efficient overall than internal-combustion-only vehicles.




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