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UMTRI: average fuel economy of new vehicles in US in January up from December

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in January was 25.1 mpg (9.36 l/100 km)—up 0.1 mpg from the revised value for December, according to the latest monthly report from Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).  This change likely reflects the increased price of gasoline in January, they suggested. 

The value for January is up 5.0 mpg since October 2007 (the first month of their monitoring), but down 0.4 mpg from the peak of 25.5 mpg reached in August of 2014.


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 November 2016, unchanged from the value for October 2016 (the lower the value the better).  This value indicates that the average new-vehicle driver produced 17% lower emissions in November 2016 than in October 2007, but 5% higher emissions than the record low reached in November 2013.


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). 



Progress, in the last 3 years has been rather poor. The arrival of more efficient ICEVs and electrified vehicles has been totally offset with the arrival of more large higher consumption SUVs.

This tendency may continue for another 3+ years?

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The problem is that the higher cost of making fuel efficient cars is not something most car buyers will pay for. This will change dramatically when the fully self driving taxis arrive in the next 2 to 4 years. When that happens the economic is about having low cost per mile for self driving taxis that drives 100,000 miles per year. When you drive that much the fuel cost is what matters for total cost per mile and then it becomes sound economics to spend more money making a car that is more fuel efficient and durable. In other words BEVs will finally win over gassers in terms of economics.


We keep making progress then less imported oil is required.

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