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Posts Tagged ‘fuel economy’

U.S. Fuel Economy Sets Record for 2013

Electrics, hybrids help push toward new high-water mark.

by on Jan.09, 2014

U.S. fuel economy is higher than ever, in part, because of increasing sales of hybrids and electric vehicles.

Despite plunging fuel prices that helped drive a sharp increase in sales of pickup trucks and utility vehicles last year, the fuel economy of the typical new vehicle sold in the U.S. hit an all-time record in 2013.

The average window sticker of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in December was 24.8 mpg – down 0.2 mpg from the revised value in November, but up 4.7 mpg from the value in October 2007, the first month of monitoring by the University of Michigan Transportation Institute.

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The average fuel economy of all vehicles sold during the 2013 calendar year was 24.8 miles per gallon, which was up 1 mile per gallon from the average fuel economy posted for 2012 and 3.9 mpg from 2008, according to the U-M survey. For the 2013 model year, which ended October 1, U-M reports the fuel economy rating for all vehicles is 24.7 mpg, which is the highest level ever. (more…)

Stop/Start Technology to Become Industry Norm by 2022

Fuel-saving system to be offered on 55 million vehicles annually, says new study.

by on Dec.30, 2013

Stop/Start is now offered on a growing range of products, from mainstream models like the Ford Fusion to high-end models like the Porsche Panamera.

You come to a stoplight and as you put your foot on the brake pedal you might notice the car just got a little bit quieter.  What you likely won’t notice until it’s time to fill up again is that it’s also a bit more fuel-efficient.

Credit a new technology called Stop/Start which automatically shuts off a vehicle’s engine rather than wasting gas idling at a light or, say, on a fast food line. Originally developed for use in hybrid vehicles, the concept is rapidly being rolled out on everything from minicars to high-performance luxury vehicles and, according to a new survey, will likely become the norm, rather than the exception, over the next decade.

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“The challenge for automakers is to get the biggest efficiency benefits from the smallest cost increment,” explains David Alexander, senior analyst with Navigant Research.

The consultancy is forecasting that the number of vehicles equipped with Stop/Start technology will grow from 8.8 million to 55.4 million worldwide by 2022.  Based on industry estimates, that would account for more than half of all vehicles produced that year.

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Fuel Economy Continues to Rise for New Vehicles

New oil production in U.S. offsetting need for foreign imports.

by on Dec.13, 2013

Ford's EcoBoost engine family is helping to improve U.S. fuel economy.

The fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the United States set a record for efficiency during model year 2012 as vehicles reached an all-time high fuel economy of 23.6 miles per gallon, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reported.

The 23.6 mpg figure represented a 1.2 mpg increase over the previous year, making it the second largest annual increase in the last 30 years. Fuel economy has now increased in seven of the last eight years, according to the EPA.

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“Today’s new vehicles are cleaner and more fuel efficient than ever, saving American families money at the gas pump and helping to keep the air that we breathe cleaner,” said Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “Each year new technologies are coming on line to keep driving these positive trends toward greater and greater efficiency.” (more…)

Despite Plunging Gas Prices Fuel Economy on the Rise

Big gains made with new pickups, utility vehicles.

by on Dec.06, 2013

Even big trucks - like this Ram 1500 EcoDiesel are getting better mileage than ever, according to UMTRI.

With fuel prices dipping below $3.00 a gallon in many parts of the country, sales of pickup trucks, utility vehicles – even minivans – have been on the rise in recent months.  Despite the resurgence of these gas-gulping vehicles, the overall mileage of the new vehicles sold in November continued to rise.

The typical vehicle sold last month delivered an EPA-rated fuel economy of 24.8 mpg in November, up 0.1 mpg from the revised October figure, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, or UMTRI.

Fuel Up!

Perhaps more significantly, that means the typical new vehicle is now getting about 23% better mileage – a 4.7 mpg average increase, since October 2007, the first month of monitoring by UMTRI, noted lead researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle.

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US Fuel Consumption Falls 11%

And downward trend likely to continue.

by on Nov.19, 2013

Motorists are using a lot less fuel these days.

Smaller vehicles and new technology — as well as changing driving habits — have combined to reduce the fuel consumption of American drivers of light-duty vehicles by 11% since 2004, says a University of Michigan researcher.

In a follow-up to two reports released earlier this year, Michael Sivak, of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, or UMTRI, examined recent trends in fuel consumption by cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and vans in the U.S. fleet from 1984 to 2011.

Fuel for Thought!

“The decline of 11% since 2004 reflects the decline in distance driven and the improvement in vehicle fuel economy,” said Sivak, a research professor at UMTRI and director of the Sustainable Worldwide Transportation research consortium.

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Fuel Prices Fall – But So Does Fuel Economy

As prices level off, buyers begin moving back into gas-thirsty models.

by on Oct.04, 2013

Fuel prices have been dipping -- but are still well above $3 a gallon in most parts of the U.S.

The price of gasoline is continuing to fall from its summer-driving-season peak — and that seems to have triggered a concurrent dip in the fuel economy of the vehicles American motorists are buying.

Fuel prices have been on a rollercoaster ride this year – though notably, Americans have now been paying at least $3 a gallon for more than 1,000 days, the first time that’s ever happened. Prices have been impacted by a range of factors, including global speculation, concerns about Mideast flare-ups, and refinery and distribution problems.

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The good news, says the AAA Fuel Gauge, is that the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. has fallen more than 40 cents, to $ 3.376 per gallon compared with $3.782 at this time last year. The price of premium gasoline and diesel fuel also have fallen. Premium gasoline has dropped by 34.9 cents per gallon while diesel has dipped slightly less — to $3.894 per gallon, compared with $4.079 cents per gallon during the same period a year ago, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge.

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New Vehicle Fuel Economy Reaches All-Time High

Improved mileage on all vehicles pushes numbers to new record.

by on Sep.13, 2013

Fuel economy is at an all-time high partially due to the fact that full-size trucks and SUVs are getting better gas mileage than ever.

With retail sales of new vehicles by traditional fuel economy leaders, such as Toyota and Honda, on the upswing, the fuel-economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. reached an all-time high in August, a new report from the University of Michigan Transportation Institute (UMTRI) indicates.

Average fuel economy (window-sticker values) of cars, light trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles purchased in August was 24.9 mpg – up 0.1 mpg from July, according to UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle.

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Overall, gas mileage is up 4.8 mpg since October 2007 when UMTRI began keeping track of fuel-economy numbers. (more…)

Honda Accord Hybrid Hits 50 – MPG, That Is

Gas-electric sedan lands bragging rights as highest city-mileage midsize hybrid.

by on Sep.06, 2013

Honda bests the competition - at least in the city mileage category.

In the battle for bragging rights in the high-mileage category, Honda has landed a solid blow against the competition, its 2014 Accord Hybrid delivering an EPA-certified rating of 50 mpg in city driving.

That’s a full three miles per gallon better than the previous king-of-the-fuel-economy-hill, the 47 mpg Ford Fusion Hybrid.  The Toyota Camry Hybrid comes in at 43 while the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid comes in at 40.

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But to put another perspective on Honda’s achievement, the 2014 Accord Hybrid gets about 10% better fuel economy around town than the first-generation Toyota Prius, a dedicated gas-electric model that used all sorts of tricks, including a super-aerodynamic, ultra-light body to maximize mileage.

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Experimental Engine Could Deliver Econobox Mileage and Sports Car Performance

Mahle tests new downsized engine technology.

by on Jul.23, 2013

Mahle's modified VW is being used to test the new downsized engine technology.

A German manufacturer best known for its heavy duty truck engine components could re-write the rules when it comes to passenger car powertrains.  The company is the Mahle Group, and it’s presently showing off a “demonstration vehicle” with an experimental   three-cylinder 1.2-liter single turbocharged gasoline engine that promises to meet very tough emission regulations while maintaining performance in mid-sized cars.

Based in Stuttgart, Germany, Mahle entered the U.S. market some 40 years ago supplying aluminum pistons for heavy duty truck engines.  Mahle last month opened its American headquarters and R & D facility in Farmington Hills, Michigan, in Detroit’s western suburbs.

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The German company’s powertrain subsidiary is barnstorming its experimental car, dubbed a “downsizing demonstration vehicle,” to U.S. vehicle manufacturers with the objective of gaining research—not engine-production—contracts.  But longer-term its design could provide the industry a significant alternative to conventional engine designs.

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Speeders Pay – at the Pump, Anyway

Magazine says driving 75 mph instead of 55 costs $30 more.

by on Jul.11, 2013

Consumer Reports found that driving 75 mph compared with 55 mph costs drivers an extra $30 on a 1,000-mile trip.

So you dodged the speed traps and cut an hour off your drive from New York to Boston, but you’re still going to pay for that lead foot.

The faster you go the worse your fuel economy, studies have routinely demonstrated, but just how much may come as a surprise. A new study by Consumer Reports magazine suggests that the penalty of driving 75 rather than 55 can add up to as much as 14 miles per gallon – which can add up to an extra $30 in fuel costs over a 1,000 mile trip.

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In fact, on long drives, the increased fuel consumption may have an unintended consequence. By burning more fuel you’re likely to stop more often to fill up, the magazine notes, and that means you may lose much of the extra time you hoped to save by speeding in the first place.

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