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New Vehicle Fuel-Economy Averages Improve in July

Rise attributed to decline in truck sales.

by on Aug.08, 2017

The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. during July improved compared to June.

The average fuel economy of new vehicles purchased by Americans improved during July, according to a monthly survey by the University of Michigan.

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in July was 25.4 mpg—up 0.3 mpg from June, Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle, researchers from U-M’s Transportation Institute said.

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The increase likely reflects the decreased proportion of light trucks in the sales mix in July compared to June. The value for July is up 5.3 mpg since the first month of the organization’s monitoring began in October 2007, but still down 0.1 mpg from the peak of 25.5 mpg reached in August 2014, the report for July sales noted.

In last month’s on from U-M, the average fuel economy or window sticker value of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in June was 25.1 mpg—down 0.2 mpg from May.

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The drop in truck sales is why, according to the University of Michigan, average fuel economy of new vehicle sales improved in July.

The drop likely reflected the decreased price of gasoline in June, and the consequent increased proportion of pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers in the sales mix, the report in July noted. While gasoline prices remain stable, they have risen in recent weeks.

AAA reported this week that the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.35 per gallon, which is three cents more than last week, nine cents more than one month ago, and 23 cents more than at the same time last year.

The latest Energy Information Administration report shows gasoline demand reached a new weekly record of 9.842 million barrels per day.

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The 2017 demand average during the past four-weeks is about 1% ahead of the same four-week period last year. With summer demand running full steam ahead, drivers can expect prices to continue rising, AAA observed.

Meanwhile, the University of Michigan Eco-Driving Index —an index that estimates the average monthly emissions of greenhouse gases generated by an individual U.S. driver—improved to 0.82 in May 2017, down from 0.84 in April 2017. The lower the value reported on the index, the better.

The EDI indicates that the average new-vehicle driver produced 18% lower emissions in May 2017 than in October 2007, but 4% higher emissions than the record low reached in November 2013.

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The U-M EDI takes into account vehicle fuel economy and distance driven, the latter relying on data that are published with a two-month lag.

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