US: average fuel economy of March auto sales on the rise image

According to the latest report coming from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the average fuel economy figure for new cars and light trucks delivered last month in the US soared by 0.2 mpg.

The study follows the average window-sticker value of new cars, SUVs, vans and pickups sold on the US market in March – with researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle saying the level rose from 25.2 mpg in February to 25.4 mpg last month. It was the 14th straight month of the average fuel economy consistently remaining above 25 mpg. The report also said the figure has grown by 5.3 mpg since October 2007, when the UMTRI started to monitor the data. In January the figure rose for the first time after reaching an all-time high of 25.8 mpg last August – for the September to November period the average fuel economy was hovering at 25.3 mpg, with December’s figure showing a dip to 25 mpg.

The University of Michigan also released the latest findings for its Eco-Driving Index, a study that tracks the average emissions from every new-vehicle driver on a monthly basis, with January figures reaching an index of 0.82, the same as the month before but 18 percent higher than in October 2007, when monitoring was initiated. The US auto market has been growing steadily, with automakers introducing more fuel efficient vehicles and technologies designed to lift the average fuel economy – in a progress triggered by the upcoming tough mandates imposed by the US government. But in recent months the figures started to lag as cheap gasoline fueled an increase in sales in less efficient segments – such as sport utility vehicles, crossovers and pickup trucks.

Via Automotive News