Average Fuel Economy Drops to Year Low in December

Average Fuel Economy Drops to Year Low in December

Average fuel economy of new vehicles sold ended 2016 on a low note.

Researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute have released the latest data on the sales-weighted fuel economy calculated from the monthly sales of individual models of light-duty vehicles, which includes cars, SUVs, vans and pickup trucks. December 2016 saw fuel economy dip to 24.9 mpg, tied for the lowest of the year. Average fuel economy also dropped to 24.9 mpg in October 2016.

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Overall, the average fuel economy of new vehicles sold last year was 25.2 mpg, down 0.1 mpg from 2015. Despite efficiency gains in all vehicle types and segments, the change likely reflects the continuing increase of light trucks being sold on the market, attributed to the dropping price of gasoline in the U.S.

December’s average fuel economy is up 4.8 mpg since October 2007, when Sivak and Schoettle began monitoring the data. It is however, 0.6 mpg lower from the peak of 25.5 mpg reached in August 2014.

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