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US light-duty vehicle sales hit record high of 17.5 million units in 2016

Average fuel economy of new light-duty vehicle sold in US dropped in December 2016; down for full year

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new light-duty vehicles sold in the US in December was 24.9 mpg—down 0.1 mpg from the revised value for November—according to the latest report from Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). They suggested that the change likely reflects the continuing increase in the proportion of light trucks sold. 

The value for December 2016 is up 4.8 mpg since October 2007 (the first month of their monitoring), but down 0.6 mpg from the peak of 25.5 mpg reached in August of 2014.


The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in 2016 was 25.2 mpg—also down 0.1 mpg from 2015.

The University of Michigan Eco-Driving Index (EDI)—an index that estimates the average monthly emissions of greenhouse gases generated by an individual U.S. driver—was 0.83 in October 2016, unchanged from the value for September 2016 (the lower the value the better).  This value indicates that the average new-vehicle driver produced 17% lower emissions in October 2016 than in October 2007, but 4% higher emissions than the record low reached last time in November 2015.


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). 


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