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Gas mileage drops for second straight month

October 6, 2015

Fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. fell for the second month in a row, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. 
Average fuel economy (window-sticker values) of cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs purchased in September was 25.2 mpg, down 0.1 mpg from August. 
"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. 
Overall, fuel economy is down 0.6 mpg from the peak reached in August 2014, but up 5.1 mpg from October 2007—the first full month of monitoring by Sivak and colleague Brandon Schoettle
In addition to average fuel economy, Sivak and Schoettle issued a monthly update of their national Eco-Driving Index, which estimates the average monthly emissions generated by an individual U.S. driver. The EDI takes into account both the fuel used per distance driven and the amount of driving—the latter relying on data that are published with a two-month lag. 
During July, the EDI remained at 0.82 (the lower the value, the better) for the third straight month. The index currently shows emissions of greenhouse gases per driver of newly purchased vehicles are down 18 percent, overall, since October 2007. EDI reached its best level (0.78) in August 2014.