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UMTRI monthly report shows large drop in new-vehicle fuel economy in September

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in September was at 25.3 mpg (9.3 l/100 km), down 0.5 mpg from the value in August, according to the monthly report from University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) researchers Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle. This large drop likely reflects the increased sales of light trucks and SUVs, they said.

According to Autodata, sales of light trucks and SUVs were up 16.5% in September 2014 year-on-year; total light-duty sales increased 9.4%, and sales of cars increased 2.3% during the month. Light-duty trucks represented 53% of total light vehicle sales in September 2014, compared to 50% in September 2013.

Average sales-weighted mpg. Click to enlarge.

Despite this drop, vehicle fuel economy is up 5.2 mpg since October 2007 (the first month of their monitoring).

The University of Michigan Eco-Driving Index (EDI)—an index that estimates the average monthly emissions of greenhouse gases generated by an individual —driver—stood at a record low of 0.77 in July (the lower the value the better). This value indicates that the average new-vehicle driver produced 23% lower emissions in July than in October 2007.

Eco-Driving Index. Click to enlarge.

The EDI takes into account both vehicle fuel economy and distance driven (the latter relying on data that are published with a two-month lag).



Much lighter (aluminum; as the new 2015 F-150) PHEV pick-up trucks could be one of the quick solution. Such PHEV pickups could do close to an average of 100 empg instead of about 18 mpg for current models.


Define "quick".


@HarveyD. A phev truck is much more heavier and costlier.It cost an arm and a leg because it have a battery inverters and rectifiers a plug and electric motors and all of this reduce the power and decrease the payload something look for by the buyers. A regular pick up gasoline cost less overall than a phev pick-up.

The phev cars are a gimmick but you lose less money as it is lighther than a pick-up and need less power as it don't carry a load.

If all of these 'new' greeneries tech were half good we will see them on big tractor-trailers trucks but it don't apply as this technology is going nowhere( prius, tesla, leaf, spark ev, focus ev, volt, Toyota hydrogem, etc. We are losing our time here and we learn nothing except marketing gimmicks.

As soon as gas prices drop a little bit than big gasoline car sales will increase and greeneries drop, LOL.


Quick could = 3 years or so.

True, too many buyers will drive as big a vehicle as their Pocket book can afford.

However, a more frugal large Heavy Pick-up is a possibility.

An 80 to 100 empg, reduced weight, Ford F-150 (2015) PHEV, with enough batteries for 30Km to 40Km e-range, together with an ultra light 3-cyls 150+ hp ICE, would not really weight more than the regular 2014 F-150.

Initial cost (before subsidies) may be $10K to $15K higher but total NET 5-year cost may be lower, if gasoline stays at asbout $4.00/gallon.


A small ICE serial hybrid pickup won't ever happen.

Pick-up trucks are designed to either tow things or carry a lot of mass in the flatbed. Towing a boat or heavy load uphill for two hundred miles is impossible at highway speeds in a 3 cylinder PHEV pickup.

SUVs are another matter as the U for "utility" is rarely used by buyers of those.


Older Pick-ups used to do a good job with about 150 hp?

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