US: average fuel economy drops to 25.1 mpg in December image

Thanks to plunging gasoline prices, in some states averaging below $2 a gallon these days, US consumers have spurred demand for the traditional gas-guzzling category: pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers.

Naturally, even though automakers are keen on increasing the corporate fuel economy of their lineup in order to meet future tougher fuel economy mandates, once you have a big mix of heavy vehicles, the average fuel economy of light vehicles purchased in the is going to drop. In December it was slightly below the one tallied in November, according to a University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study. Researching the average window-sticker rating of cars, SUVs, vans and pickups bought last month showed a 25.1 mpg level, which compares to November’s 25.3 rating. Researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle said that the “recent reductions likely reflect the large and continuing decreases in the price of gasoline,” and this is the second time fuel economy dropped by 0.2 mpg after June last year.

Yesterday, AAA compiled data showed that across the US the national average of gasoline was $2.194 per gallon – a huge drop from the same period last year when the average price was $3.317. Still, year-over-year, December’s fuel economy average was 0.2 mpg better and also the eleventh straight month of fuel economy averaging above the 25 mpg mark. According to the university, since it began monitoring the average fuel economy of the US light-vehicle market back in October 2007, fuel economy has constantly gone up – by 5 mpg to date.

Via Automotive News