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Rising Sales Matched by Rising Fuel Economy in May

Sales hit 16.8 million rate while fuel economy improves too.

by on Jun.09, 2014

Ford's F-150, along with other full size trucks, have had banner sales in May and improved gas mileage.

Despite brisk sales of trucks and utility vehicles, the fuel economy of new vehicles purchased by American cars sales continued to climb in May when the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales reach 16.77 million units, according to a new study by the University of Michigan.

The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in May was 25.6 mpg — up 0.4 mpg from the value for April. Gasoline prices have been relatively stable during the last year – averaging around $3.64 per gallon – but are still relatively high by historical standards, according to GasBuddy.com.

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Figures from Gas Buddy show that gasoline prices vary from state to state. The highest prices are currently found in California where prices have once again topped $4 per gallon. The price of diesel fuel is also relatively stable across the United States. Diesel fuel is about 30 cents more per gallon in most places around the United States, except in California where it is only 10 cents per gallon higher, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports. 

Overall, vehicle fuel economy is up 5.5 mpg since October 2007, U-M analysts said.

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The average sales-weighted fuel economy was calculated from the monthly sales of individual models of all light-duty vehicles and the combined city/highway fuel-economy ratings published in the “EPA Fuel Economy Guide” for different models.

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For very low sales-volume manufacturers such as Ferrari and Rolls Royce, all vehicle models for that manufacturer were aggregated and one average fuel-economy rating was calculated. Analogously, the sales figures for such manufacturers and models were also aggregated each month.

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In addition, the separate U-M Eco-Driving Index estimates the average monthy emissions of greenhouse gases generated by an individual U.S. driver — stood at 0.78 in March (the lower the value the better). This value indicates that the average new-vehicle buyer produced 22 percent lower emissions in March than in October 2007.

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