The average fuel economy of new cars, sports utility vehicles, trucks and vans sold in October in the United States significantly increased by 0.2 mpg from September, to 24.8 mpg, according to a report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Researcher Michael Sivak said in a statement that the most recent improvement in mpg numbers “likely reflects the net effect of two opposing trends,” -- the improved fuel economy of model year 2014 vehicles and the falling demand for fuel-efficient vehicles due to recent decrease in fuel prices. The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the US is up 4.7 mpg since researchers commenced gathering collecting data in October 2007.
Average sales-weighted fuel economy was derived from the monthly sales of each model and their corresponding combined city-highway fuel economy ratings from the EPA Fuel Economy Guide. The institute's national Eco-Driving Index, which computes the average monthly greenhouse gas emissions from a US driver who purchases a new unit during the month, remained at 0.80 for the fourth straight month in August.
A lower index score is considered better, and the scores are compared with a base score of 1 in October 2007, when researchers started gathered data. Sivak noted that the October 2013 value was an improvement of 20 percent since October 2007.