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Average U.S. Fuel Economy Breaks 24 MPG For The First Time

Apr 27, 2012

According to industry press reports, higher gas prices are moving some consumers to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles, based on a recent report conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. The study found that the average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States topped 24.1 miles per gallon (MPG) for the first time in March 2012. That is a 20% increase in average fuel efficiency, compared to October 2007, the first month this statistic began being measured. There have been many media reports citing consumers’ growing interest in more fuel-efficient vehicles as gas prices topped $4 a gallon earlier this month in several parts of the country. Automakers are also boosting fuel efficiency to meet new government requirements. In order to meet the 2012-2016 fuel efficiency standard of 34.1 mpg in the next four years, it will cost the industry an estimated $51.5 billion. Looking even further down the line, 13 major automakers recently signed off on a proposal to increase fuel standards to 54.5 mpg by 2025. The rules are to be finalized later this year. The Obama Administration estimates that the increase in fuel efficiency will cost the industry $157.3 billion, but will save consumers a projected $1.7 trillion in fuel purchases. Between the two regulations, the Administration estimated that the price of a new vehicle in 2025 will increase by about $3,000.