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Posts Tagged ‘gas mileage’

Roof Racks Raised US Gas Usage by 100M Gallons

Study shows increased drag can increase fuel usage by 25%.

by on Apr.29, 2016

See that handy roof rack? It could be cutting the mileage on that Ford Explorer by 25%.

Wondering what might be dragging down the mileage on your sporty new SUV or crossover? Look no further than your roof. According to a new study, roof racks may cost drivers as much as 25% more in gas usage.

Researchers in the first-of-its-kind study discovered that in in 2015, these popular add-ons were accounting for nearly 1% of all light-duty vehicle gasoline consumption. On the surface, it may not sound like much, but it equates to more than 100 million gallons of gas annually.

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“I’ve always been intrigued by energy consumption that was somehow overlooked or ignored because, for example, it wasn’t in the test procedure,” said Alan Meier, who co-authored the study with Yuche Chen of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “In this case the fuel consumption of vehicles with after-market accessories isn’t captured in the test procedure.” (more…)

Fuel Economy Hasn’t Much Changed Since 1923

Or has it? Federal data leaves some big gaps open.

by on Aug.20, 2015

New study suggests that today's auto fleet isn't getting much better mileage than it did 90 years ago.

Federal guidelines are calling for some big increases in fuel economy over the next decade, with the average vehicle required to deliver 54.5 mpg by 2025.

But a new study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, or UMTRI, adds a cautionary note to that push, noting that from 1923 to 2013, the average mileage of the American automotive fleet rose a meager 3.6 miles per gallon, to just 17.6 mpg.

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In fact, fuel economy actually tumbled for a number of years, only starting to rebound in 1974, in the wake of the first Mideast oil shock as Washington enacted the first Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standard.

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Drivers Claim Fuel Economy Numbers are Too Low

Study shows owners get better results with personal vehicles.

by on Jun.17, 2015

A recent study shows that consumers don't have much faith in the mileage ratings on new vehicle window stickers.

With the number of times automakers have had to restate the fuel economy figures for new vehicles, it’s no wonder a recent study finds Americans are skeptical about the mileage numbers slapped on the window stickers of new cars and trucks.

However, the reason for skepticism is a bit surprising: a substantial number of buyers doubt the reported numbers because their personal vehicles outperform the figures on the official fuel-economy labels.

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A new AAA survey indicated that a third of Americans do not believe the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new vehicle window sticker accurately reflects the fuel economy they achieve when driving. (more…)

Booming Truck Sales Killing Fuel Economy Average

Mileage ratings for new vehicles drops in February.

by on Mar.05, 2015

Sales of new trucks continue to negatively impact the average fuel economy of new vehicles.

The continuing growth in the sales of trucks and sport utility vehicles is reducing the fuel economy numbers of the new vehicles purchased by American consumers.

The latest evidence comes from a new survey by researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which found gas mileage of new vehicles sold in the U.S. slipped last month thanks in part to this year’s harsh winter.

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Average fuel economy – window-sticker values – of cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs purchased in February was 25.2 mpg, down from 25.4 mpg in January and now just 0.1 mpg higher than a year ago. Overall, vehicle fuel economy is up 5.1 mpg from October 2007, the first full month of monitoring by Michael Sivak and colleague Brandon Schoettle. (more…)

Consumers Expect Gas Prices to Rise Sharply Again

Increase of 50% over next two years likely, finds new study.

by on Feb.19, 2015

Gas prices are expected to rise in the near term after falling for several months.

Consumers may relish the sharp slump in fuel prices during the last few months, but they anticipate prices will eventually rebound – and want automakers to continue putting a premium on fuel economy, according to a new survey.

In the early weeks of the New Year, motorists in more than 40 states were paying less than $2.00 a gallon, according to industry reports. But the new study by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) predicts prices will surge back to around $3.20 a gallon within two years. Looking five years out, meanwhile, they expect to be paying around $3.90 a gallon at the pump.

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“There’s a good reason why today’s car buyers still believe fuel efficiency is important—they understand that gas prices always go back up,” said Jack Gillis, CFA director of Public Affairs and author of The Car Book.  (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…)

Fuel Economy Gains Grind to a Halt in October

Average fuel economy remains unchanged after drop from August rating.

by on Nov.12, 2014

The popularity of new trucks, like the Silverado, due to lower gas prices kept the average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in October stagnant.

The layoff of more than 500 workers at two General Motors plants in Michigan highlights a big shift in demand, American motorists walking past the high-mileage small cars that topped the sales charts last year in favor of big, fuel thirsty pickups, SUVs and crossovers.

So, it may come as a surprise that the fuel economy of the typical vehicle sold in the U.S. last month didn’t take a big tumble, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), and ran only slightly below the record levels set earlier in the year.

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“The unchanged average fuel economy is likely a net consequence of two opposing trends—less demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles because of the decreasing price of gasoline, and improved fuel economy of 2015 model year vehicles compared to 2014 model year vehicles,” noted UMTRI researcher Michael Sivak who, with partner Brandon Schoettle, tracks the mileage of new cars, trucks and crossovers on a monthly basis. (more…)

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…)

Ford Wants New Way to Measure Mileage

Consumers “confused” by and “tuning out” current, misleading numbers.

by on Mar.27, 2013

Jim Farley, global marketing chief at Ford Motor Co.

If you’re like most motorists, you’ve struggled to reconcile the numbers in those endless automotive ads with the actual mileage you’re likely getting day-to-day.

The reality is that the current EPA fuel economy rating system doesn’t work, and American motorists are both “confused” and “tuning out,” according to Jim Farley, global marketing chief at Ford Motor Co. That’s especially true when it comes to hybrid vehicles, which can be extremely sensitive to variations such as weather, road conditions and personal driving style, he added.

So, a new way of calculating mileage that gives motorists a real idea of what to expect is necessary, said Farley, in his keynote speech at this year’s New York International Auto Show.

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“It is confusing how we express fuel economy,” he declared, adding that the official federal ratings “really aren’t relevant. We need to help customers understand their personal fuel economy.”

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Fuel Prices Nudging Up Again…So is Mileage

Are consumers fickle about fuel costs?

by on Aug.06, 2012

After a slight spring decline, sales of high-mileage models like the Chevrolet Malibu Eco seem to be regaining momentum.

There seems to be an almost direct correlation between fuel prices and fuel economy, at least in terms of the mileage of the vehicle the average American motorist has been purchasing this year.  And with fuel prices once again starting to rise after unexpectedly tumbling for several months that means fuel economy is heading up, as well.

After a three-month drop, fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States leveled off in July, according researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.   Mileage hit an all-time record in April as U.S. fuel prices started racing towards record levels, as well.

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For July, unadjusted Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, performance was 29 mpg, the same as in June and an increase of 17%, or 4.3 miles per gallon, since October 2007.

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