Last month the average fuel economy of new light vehicle sales in the US hit an all-time record high of 25.8 MPG, which is about 1 MPG than last year. Since the University of Michigan started tracking new car fuel economy in 2007, it has increase a substantial 5.7 MPG, reports Automotive News, an approximately a 25% increase.
Many (but not all) automakers were caught flat-footed by the suddenly gas price spike in 2008, though they all seem to have landed on their feet 7 years later. The average midsize sedan can now hit the mid-30s on the highway, and many compact cars are pushing 40 MPG or more. Meanwhile hybrids have become a cornerstone of many fleets, and EV sales are starting to gain momentum after months of stagnant sales. Even trucks like the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel are in the upper 20s that’s to better aerodynamics, active grille shutters, and an air suspension that lowers the ride height at highway speeds.
Few of these features were available on new cars a decade ago, but these days such technology is becoming commonplace. Downsized, forced-induction engines are getting more power out of less displacement, and the use of aluminum and other lightweight materials is helping new vehicles shed hundreds of pounds.
At this rate, the average new car fuel economy could hit 30 MPG by 2018 or 2019. And lest we forget, America was obsessed with pickups and SUVs not that long ago, and even those are ditching gas-guzzling V8s for smaller V6 and even four-cylinder hybrid drivetrains.
Keep it up guys!