New Car Average Fuel Economy Sets Record in March at 24.1 MPG

Average fuel economy for new cars sold in the U.S. is at a record high, based on a study run by the University of Michigan. Having recorded average fuel economy since 2007, researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle said the number reached its highest point last month at 24.1 mpg.

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The study looks at window-sticker fuel economy averages of cars, light trucks, and SUVs purchased each month, and calculates the average of all models sold. For March, that number was 24.1 mpg, up from 23.9 mpg a month prior, and 23.6 mpg in January. The record number also represents a 20-percent increase over the 20.1 mpg average observed in October 2007, the first month the researchers started keeping track.

Accompanying the study is a graph, which shows the progression of purchased vehicles’ average fuel economy since the beginning of the study. According to this graph, the average fuel economy – again based on window-sticker values – of all model-year 2012 vehicles on sale is 23.4 mpg. Since January of this year, the average fuel economy has jumped from under 23 mpg to 24.1 mpg. Some consumers may not be considering a second hybrid but, with revised Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards leading to increasingly efficient new cars, do you think this mpg trend will continue?

Source: University of Michigan

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