Average U.S. Fuel Economy Flat This Year: Report

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Efficiency matters, but drivers don’t always go for the most economical option when purchasing a new vehicle. The latest average fuel-economy figures for new vehicles sold in the U.S. last month are out and they’re essentially unchanged from January.

According to Michael Sivak, director of sustainable worldwide transportation at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, the number in question is hovering at 25.2 miles per gallon.

This score pertains to new vehicles sold in America during the month of February and is based off window-sticker values. For vehicles with multiple powertrain options their efficiency ratings were averaged.

This data is available for 99.7 percent of vehicles purchased. This is likely because some heavy-duty vehicles are not required to display fuel-economy figures on their window stickers.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Used Cars

Even though that overall figure of 25.2 hasn’t grown this year, it’s still way up from when they started tracking this data in October 2007. Since then, average fuel economy has increased by 5.1 miles per gallon, peaking in August 2014 at around 25.7 MPG.

Along with fuel economy, tailpipe emissions are something else U of M tracks. According to Sivak, the school’s Eco-Driving Index estimates the average monthly greenhouse gas emissions by individual drivers in the U.S. This figure was 0.85 last December, up 0.03 from the month prior, which is a step in the wrong direction since a lower figure equates to fewer tailpipe pollutants.

That 0.85 figure means vehicles emit 15 percent fewer harmful emissions than they did way back in October 2007. Still, things have taken a small step backwards compared to August 2014, with the average vehicle releasing 7 percent more pollution.

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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