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Saving gas: Less driving, better fuel economy

November 20, 2013

Fuel consumption by American drivers of light-duty vehicles is down 11 percent since 2004, according to UMTRI research.

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

His findings show that 123.9 billion gallons of gasoline were consumed in 2011, compared with a peak of 138.8 billion gallons in 2004. During the five-year period of 2002-06, U.S. drivers used an average of 135.5 billion gallons of gas annually, but from 2007 to 2011, the average dropped to 123 billion gallons.

"The decline of 11 percent since 2004 reflects the decline in distance driven and the improvement in vehicle fuel economy," said Sivak, director of the Sustainable Worldwide Transportation research consortium.

Read the U-M news release.