October auto sales generated highest ever U.S. fuel economy, report says
DETROIT -- Fuel economy for new vehicles sold in the United States rose to an all-time high in October, University of Michigan researchers said in a monthly report.
Cars, SUVs, vans and pickup trucks purchased last month had an average fuel economy of 24.1 mpg, up from 23.8 in September, researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle said today in the report issued by the university's Transportation Research Institute. That is a 20 percent increase (4.0 mpg) from October 2007, when Sivak and Schoettle began collecting data.
The average sales-weighted fuel economy was calculated from the monthly sales of individual models and the combined city-highway fuel economy ratings from the EPA Fuel Economy Guide for the respective models.
"The improvement in fuel economy in the past five years corresponds to a 17 percent reduction in fuel consumption per distance driven," Sivak said in the press release.
The researchers also gave the monthly update on their national Eco-Driving Index, an estimate of the average monthly emissions generated by an individual driver in the United States. Lower values are better.
The index for August — .81 — was unchanged from the previous month, but emissions of greenhouse gases per driver of newly purchased vehicles are down 19 percent from October 2007. The index takes both vehicle fuel economy and distance driven into account. Distance driven relies on data published with a two-month lag.
For fuel economy calculations, along with a graph and table of current and recent mpg: click here.
For Eco-Driving Index calculations, along with a graph and table of current and recent values: click here.