The average new car fuel economy has hit a new high according to a new study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. The trend seems to follow rising fuel prices since The Eco-Driving Index (EDI) began in late 2007, shortly after the EPA revised its fuel economy ratings starting with the 2008 model year.
The Eco-Driving Index estimates the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by new vehicles by taking into account the average mpg of new cars purchased in a certain month and the average miles traveled per driver. Based on October 2007 as a starting point with an index of 1.00, last month’s index was 0.81 or a 19-percent improvement — the highest increase yet. The bump in October represents the third consecutive monthly increase since July, when the 23.5 mpg fuel economy figure was flat compared to June.
Compared to the same week in 2011, average fuel prices last week were higher across the nation, averaging $0.116 a gallon more for gasoline and $0.138 a gallon more for diesel, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.
When the EDI began, the average new car fuel economy was 20.1 mpg, while the October numbers show a 4-mpg improvement to 24.1 mpg. The newest mpg rating takes into account the newly revised EPA ratings for Hyundai and Kia vehicles that are about 3 percent lower on average.
Source: The Detroit News, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, U.S. EIA