U.S. fuel economy tops 24 mpg for first time

Discussion in 'In the News' started by ALS, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    [​IMG] The unadjusted Corporate Average Fuel Economy performance for the first time rose to 29.6 mpg, an increase of 20 percent, or 4.9 mpg, since October 2007.

    [FIMG=LEFT]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/Prius_II_60_-_51_sticker.jpg[/FIMG]Paul A. Eisenstein - MSNBC - April 10, 2012

    The fuel economy of the average new vehicle sold in the United States has topped 24 miles per gallon for the first time ever, according to researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

    Using the numbers shown in the “Monroney” window sticker, the average fuel economy of the cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs purchased in March rose to 24.1 mpg, up from 23.9 in February and 23.6 in January.

    The typical vehicle sold in March 2012 was 20 percent, or four miles per gallon, higher than the industry average in October 2007, the first month UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle began tracking vehicle mileage.

    The surge in fuel economy should be no surprise to those who have been tracking recent sales trends. Small cars have enjoyed a major surge as gas prices have begun their latest push towards record levels. Compact and smaller models now account for nearly a quarter of the market, up from less than 18 percent as recently as last December.... [RM]http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/10/11122287-us-fuel-economy-tops-24-mpg-for-first-time?lite[/RM]
  2. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

  3. Kurz

    Kurz Well-Known Member

    Not bad at all herm...
    Till the rest of the Fleet of America is phased out, looks like we will be doing pretty good.
  4. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I hate to admit it but I must. Tighter regulation is producing results.

    Regulation is proving to be effective in raising average fuel economy. We had years of unchanged regulation and we got years of unchanging results. Even if people wanted improvements (not sure if true for the general public), they weren't available. Now with rising standards, we're getting meaningful results.
  5. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    Actually, I disagree. I think the current batch is delayed market delivery of work done in response to the rising gas prices.

    I think the new CAFE standards will help in the future, but rather than forcing manufacturers' hands I think it's more a matter of reducing the risk for manufacturers in focusing their research on fuel economy by making it harder to be caught out by a price dip.

    The only manufacturer complaining about the new rules was the one that stands to lose most from rising CAFE standards: VW.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  6. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

  7. I wonder what the avg mpg for all cars licensed/registered has looked like for the last 10 years .
  8. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

  9. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    Looking at the monthly line, it's a never ending rollercoaster....more efficient bought in spring/summer, and less efficient through fall/winter. Interesting. It is nice to see the overall increasing, even if it only averaged 1mpg per decade. On a grand scale that's good.
  10. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    That diesel chart looks impressive, but combine the charts on the same scale for perspective.

    Although, I'm not sure what the charts are measuring. Is it actual mpg, or is it CAFE mpg? Total fleet or new registrations?

  11. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    one is for new cars, using the raw EPA numbers, the other one is for all vehicles, new and old (excluding diesel) and overall actual fuel economy (annual gallons of gasoline divided by annual miles)
  12. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Ok. So they're not really comparable.
  13. Indigo

    Indigo Witch with wry sense of humor

    You could easily get the average fuel economy up to 30 MPG in one year with some very simple, comon-sense legislation:
    -- Impose a special Environmental Surcharge on SUV sales equal to $500 per 1 MPG under 30.
    -- Require SUV purchasers to submit to a mandatory 5-day "cooling off" period (like when you buy other lethal devices such as guns).
    -- Raise registration fees for SUVs to $100 per 1 MPG under 30.
    -- Prosecute SUV-related highway deaths as premeditated homocide (since people who buy these hulks are basically doing so in order to own a 4-wheeled weapon of destruction).

    No SUVs = lower gas prices, better air quality, no oil wars, and fewer highway fatalities.
  14. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Bad drivers are bad drivers, no matter what they drive. There should be stricter traffic enforcement, with stiffer penalties, and traffic related deaths should not be treated as a slap on the wrist. A few months ago while I was riding my motorcycle, I was nearly killed by a person driving a Honda Civic. They decided to change lanes without looking and nearly pushed me into a concrete barrier. It didn't matter to me that it was a Civic. It would have killed me just as easy as a Humvee.

    The American public as a whole needs to realize that driving is a privilege, not a right. Once we get that straight, things will be much better. IMHO I believe that the bad drivers are drawn to the SUV's because of their size, they're inherently safer, and should the bad driver be involved in an accident, they're more likely to survive.
  15. Kurz

    Kurz Well-Known Member

    Doubtful... I believe its more the people are slowly changing their minds of fuel economy.
    We are in a recession, Inflation is driving up costs, Gas prices are up, people are deciding to get more fuel efficient cars.

    People based their decisions on emotion more often than logic. If they feel like they are getting pinched they'll go for a greener/cheaper alternative.
    Though we are all guilty of this myself included. ;)
  16. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    I think it's a combination of the regulations and people's decisions, emotional or rational. Without the regulations, do you think anyone would be producing the higher MPG rated vehicles or touting them as much as they do in marketing? Without that jump start, I doubt we'd be seeing the increase in the chart that is there. There might be a small uptick, but I don't think it'd be nearly as much.
  17. uRabbit

    uRabbit Well-Known Member

    Too little, too late.

    That's how I feel.
  18. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    Why single out SUVs? Most cars don't get 30mpg. The majority of cars are also large/heavy.

    Two of your ideas are far from common sense, more irrational hatred of something marginally different than non-suv and poor attempts at humor.

    No oil wars? Get a grip.
  19. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    New York already has registration fees set based on vehicle curb weight.
    Link - http://www.dmv.ny.gov/regfee.htm
    For a 2500 pound Kia Rio, it costs $40.50 for 2 years.
    For a 3500 pound Chevy Malibu, it costs $56.50 for 2 years.
    For a 4500 pound Ford Explorer, it costs $81.00 for 2 years.
    For a 5500 pound Chevy Suburban, it costs $105.00 for 2 years.
    For a 6500 pound 2500-series pickup, it's $129.50 for 2 years.
    Anything weighing 6951 pounds or more, it's $140 for 2 years.

    I saw this firsthand when I went with my sister to sign the papers on her Kia Optima hybrid. The car was 300 pounds lighter than the Toyota it replaced, so her registration fee was $6 lower.
    Note that these are rates for passenger vehicles, so they don't unfairly gouge commercial vehicles that necessarily weigh more. But for those who simply must drive a 6000 pound 4x4 because it seats 7 (even though they carry no passengers) and "goes good in the snow", they pay twice as much as they would for a 3600 pound midsize car, and three times as much they would for a 2400 pound B-segment hatch.

    I think the gas spike has much to do with the fleet mpg increase. For several years now, the price has been climbing in Spring and then easing in the Fall, but racheting upward with each climb. One of my acquaintances has a 2002 Chevy Express van with a 350V8 and he's paying $50 a day in gasoline to travel between the three businesses he owns. He's sick of paying $1500 a month for fuel, and he was asking me how I like my Elantra. He wants one just like it. I told him that parking the van and driving an Elantra - even if he averaged only the EPA city number of 29 - would save him $900 a month. For that kind of money, he could buy and insure not one but TWO Elantra GLS sedans. And going by the registration costs above, he could register two Elantras for the cost of the one heavier van.

    Instead of requiring a "cooling off" period for SUV sales, let's require that monster-sized V8 SUVs sold as new have a large placard affixed that says "Stuck on stupid", and the vehicle would fail inspection if the sticker is concealed or removed. I am thinking of something in bright yellow or orange, like the placards used on trucks carrying liquids that have different colors and symbols for corrosive, combustible, etc. For the SUV placard, we have a confused smiley with a question mark over its head, as if they were thinking, "I'm paying 700 bucks a month for this... why???"
  20. Indigo

    Indigo Witch with wry sense of humor

    My "5-day cooling off" period was tongue-in-cheek.

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