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Posts Tagged ‘fuel efficiency’

Low Gas Prices Causing Average MPG to Fall

Less efficient truck, SUV sales on the rise.

by on Jan.15, 2016

As sales of full-size trucks, like the F-150, continue to tick upwards, fuel efficiency averages for new vehicles slides downward.

The price of gasoline is now sitting at its lowest point in the better part of a decade even as new crises ripple through the key oil producing regions of the Middle East

Gas prices continue to drop to multi-year lows, with average price of $1.93 per gallon representing the cheapest average price at the pump since March 23, 2009, according to surveys by AAA.

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They have fallen for 55 of the past 66 days for a total savings of 26 cents per gallon and should remain relatively low because there is more than enough oil and gasoline around the world to meet demand.  (more…)

Truck Sales Driving Down Fuel Efficiency Numbers

Low gas prices encourage consumers to buy trucks, SUVs.

by on Dec.11, 2015

Low fuel prices are encouraging consumers to buy more full-size pickups and utilities than cars, driving down fleet efficiency.

After years of progress, the drive to improve the efficiency numbers of the U.S. automobile fleet has stalled as consumers opt for light-duty trucks and utility vehicles rather than passenger cars in the current sales frenzy.

While domestic, Asian and European carmakers are enjoying some of their best sales ever in the U.S., the sales of passenger cars to American customers has actually fallen during the first 11 months of 2015.

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The numbers are stark. Sales of cars of all types have dropped 2.2%, while sales of trucks and utility vehicles have increased 12.7%. The shift means that trucks will outsell cars in the U.S. by roughly 1 million units this year, according to numbers collected by Auto Data. Last year the split was roughly even with a small tilt towards the truck side of the business. (more…)

Buyers Continue Purchasing New Vehicles with Lower Fuel Efficiency

Fuel economy average drops again in September.

by on Oct.08, 2015

As sales of full-size trucks, like the F-150, continue to tick upwards, fuel efficiency averages for new vehicles slides downward.

As the sales of trucks and utility vehicles continue to surge, the fuel-economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. continues to drop, according to a monthly study by the University of Michigan.

In fact researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found the fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. as rated by the federal Environmental Protection Agency fell for the second month in a row. The average fuel economy, or window-sticker values, of cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs purchased in September was 25.2 mpg, down 0.1 mpg from August.

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“This decline likely reflects the decreased price of gasoline in September, and the consequent increased sales of pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers,” said Michael Sivak, a research professor at UMTRI. (more…)

New Car Fuel Ratings Stagnate Due to Low Gas Prices

Fuel efficiency drops as trucks, SUVs, crossovers selling big.

by on Dec.04, 2014

The average fuel economy of new vehicles has remained unchanged for three months.

After a long period of steady improvement, the fuel economy of new vehicles purchased by American consumers appears to have plateaued and if the price of fuel continues on its downward trend, mileage rating numbers are unlikely to improve anytime soon.

The gas mileage of new vehicles sold in the U.S. – as reflected on window stickers – stayed the same last month: 25.3 mpg, according to researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

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In fact, it was the same in September and October, but down from 25.8 mpg in August, but the reason for the leveling out is predictable. (more…)

In Gear: VW Creates 10-speed DSG Transmission

What’s next? An 11-speed?

by on Nov.12, 2014

The seventh-generation Golf could be a prime candidate for VW's new 10-speed transmission.

Volkswagen was the first automaker to put a dual-clutch gearbox into production and with the technology becoming increasingly commonplace, the German maker hopes to jump back into the lead with the debut of a new 10-speed transmission.

VW unveiled the new 10-speed DSG at a preview of an array of new, high-efficiency powertrain technologies, part of its so-called “Think Blue” program. Its stated goal is to become the world’s most sustainable automaker by 2018.

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There are three parts to the Think Blue project, according to VW, “Developing efficient products and technologies, actively involving people to promote environmental awareness and supporting environmentally relevant and initiatives globally.” (more…)

EPA New Vehicle Mileage Gains Slowing Down

Agency notes light truck sales driving downward slide.

by on Oct.09, 2014

Trucks are hot sellers these days, in part because they are getting better gas mileage than ever.

Using lighter materials, turbochargers and other methods, automakers are taking to make new cars and trucks more fuel efficient continue to pay off as the gas mileage average in the U.S. hit a record 24.1 miles per gallon last year.

Tempering that good news is the fact that the year-over-year gains are slowing, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The 2013 result was 0.5 miles per gallon better than 2012, but was significantly less than the 1.2-mpg improvement from 2011 to 2012.

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However, due to a sales increase in full-size pickups and SUVs this year, the agency is predicting a much smaller improvement from 2013 to 2014: 0.1 mpg. Sales of light trucks are up 16.5% this year and account for 51.3% of overall sales through September. Last year, they were 49.3% of overall sales. Conversely, car sales have risen just 2.3%, according to Autodata. (more…)

Chrysler the Latest Maker to Add Stop/Start Technology

Fuel-saving system to debut on new Chrysler 200, Jeep Cherokee.

by on Jun.24, 2014

The 2015 Chrysler 200 will be the first vehicle to get stop-start technology with the Jeep Cherokee coming along later this year.

Chrysler will offer the new stop-start technology on two of its newest models for 2015, with more products likely to get the fuel-saving system over the next few years.

Stop-start will become standard on the 2.4-liter version of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan, as well as on the Jeep Cherokee equipped with the maker’s 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6.

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The technology briefly shuts the engine off when the vehicle comes to a halt at a stoplight or on, say, a fast food line, automatically firing back up when the driver’s foot lifts off the brake. Estimates of the benefits vary, though Chrysler predicts stop-start should improve fuel economy by about 3% on the Chrysler 200 and Jeep Cherokee, while reducing emissions by about 3%, as well. (more…)

Americans are Driving More, But Using Less Fuel

Study shows vehicles are more fuel efficient than ever.

by on Aug.05, 2013

Americans are driving more, but using less gasoline due to improved fuel efficiency.

Americans continue to drive more as the economy recovers but even so, they’re using less fuel according to a new study from the University of Michigan.

In addition, despite a surge in pickup truck sales keyed to the upturn in the housing market, the average fuel economy of model year 2013 vehicles sold thus far (October 2012 through July 2013) is 24.7 miles per gallon.

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“This is up 1.2 mpg from model year 2012 vehicles,” U-M’s Transportation Research Institute in Ann Arbor, Mich. noted in its monthly Eco-Driving Index (EDI). (more…)

Your Best – and Worst – High-Mileage Car Deals

Some cars save your gas – but cost an arm and a leg.

by on Apr.16, 2012

The 2012 Mazda3 was the maker's first model to use the new SkyActiv technology.

The recent run-up in fuel prices has put the spotlight on hybrids, battery cars and other high-mileage vehicles.  But while it may sound great to get 40, even 50 miles a gallon, are you spending an arm and a leg to save far less than you might expect on your annual gasoline bill?

Some hybrids carry a premium that can push up to $5,000 or more.  The penalty is even higher with plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.  Even on many “eco” models using relatively conventional gasoline power you could be in for a stiff price penalty.  But is it worth it?

Not necessarily, if you’re simply trying to save money and not really worried about going “green.”  But there are some models that minimize your up-front investment and deliver you savings fast.

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“The price of gas has consumers thinking about fuel economy but there’s a financial investment involved with most of these fuel-saving packages,” says Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Market Intelligence at TrueCar.com. “It’s important to compare the improvements in fuel economy and the extra costs of the package before purchasing a new vehicle.”

(more…)

Chrysler Going Mainstream with 8-Speed; 9-Speed Automatic Coming

New gearboxes cut “a chunk” out of fuel consumption.

by on Sep.01, 2011

V-6 versions of the 2012 Dodge Charger will get the new 8-speed gearbox, as will the V-6 Chrysler 300.

Chrysler will become the first automaker to go mainstream with a fuel-saving 8-speed automatic gearbox, but TheDetroitBureau.com has learned the Detroit maker is also developing an even more efficient 9-speed transmission.

Automakers are searching frantically for ways to improve mileage as they struggle to meet the 35.5 mpg fuel economy target for 2016 – and the 54.5 mpg standard recently enacted for 2025.  While all sorts of advanced – and expensive – options are under study, makers like Chrysler have realized they can achieve significant efficiencies simply improving the transmissions already found in every car on the road.

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The new Chrysler 8-speed will debut on the V-6 versions of the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300.  They will deliver a full 4 mile per gallon increase in highway mileage, boosting the Dodge sedan to 31 mpg on the highway.

“That’s a chunk,” said Chrysler spokesman Vince Muniga, who also confirmed that “We’re working on a 9-speed” automatic gearbox that is expected to be even more efficient.

(more…)