The average fuel-economy data for new cars in the United States has been hampered by the buyers’ desire to own an SUV or a truck.
With fuel prices at their lowest since the economic recession in 2008, it is no wonder that the US market for new light-vehicles has been lately pushed by SUVs and trucks. The trend has evidently affected the average gas mileage of new cars sold in the US, dropping from 25.4 mpg in May to 25.3 in June, shows data released by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. The average fuel economy was calculated from the monthly sales of cars, SUVs, vans and pickup trucks and the combined city/highway ratings published by the EPA. Overall, fuel economy is down 0.5 mpg from the peak reached in August 2014, but still up 5.2 mpg from October 2007, the first full month of monitoring by the researchers.
The low fuel prices have also been reflected in the decrease of demand for cleaner cars. According to Autoblog, the slim US sales of hybrids, plug-ins and diesels fell about 21 percent from a year earlier to about 35,000 units through June.
Even if the automakers have made improvements in fuel economy ratings in recent years, they are still far away from the standards imposed by the regulators for 2025. In August 2012, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration set the final standard governing new-vehicle fuel economy at 54.5 mpg (163 grams/mile of CO2) by 2025.