The average fuel economy of light vehicles -- new cars, SUVs, vans and pickups -- sold in the United States in November was 25.3 mpg, according to a research by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMRTI). This means that the figure remained unchanged from October and likely will still be unchanged in the near term.
In an e-mailed announcement, UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle said that unchanged average fuel economy could be a net result of two opposing trends -- less demand for fuel efficient vehicles due to dropping gasoline price; and improved fuel economy figures of MY2015 vehicles compared to MY2014 ones.
Fuel economy had its largest drop in three years in September after hitting a new record in August. On the other hand, AAA data shows that retail gasoline averaged $2.746 a gallon in the US on Wednesday.
AAA spokesman Michael Green has told Bloomberg that fuel stations are expected to trim pump prices by another 15 cents to 20 cents a gallon to adjust to drop in oil prices. In fact, one fuel station has posted a price of $1.99 per gallon.
On the other hand, fuel economy has surged 5.2 mpg since UMTRI began its monitoring in October 2007. According to Schoettle, as cited by Automotive News, when fuel prices starts to increase again, there will a corresponding hike in average fuel economy figures.
UMTRI’s Eco-Driving Index showed 0.78 in September, which means that the average monthly greenhouse gas emissions of each new-vehicle driver in the US was 22 percent lower than in October 2007.