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UMTRI study quantifies recent improvements in fuel economy, reduction of emissions

October 10, 2012

In a new study, UMTRI research professor Michael Sivak and research associate Brandon Schoettle quantified the benefits of recent improvements in vehicle fuel economy on overall fuel consumption and emissions.

The study revealed two main findings. First, the vehicles sold during the past five years save a cumulative total of about 6.1 billion gallons of fuel--equivalent to the current total consumption of all vehicles in the United States for about 13 days. This reduction in the amount of fuel translates to a reduction of about 120 billion pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions.

Second, in terms of the current savings, for the most recent month--September 2012--the savings amount to 293 million gallons of fuel, or about 5.7 billion pounds of carbon dioxide. These savings are equivalent to about 2.9% of the average monthly consumption of fuel and of carbon-dioxide emissions from all light-duty vehicles on the road.

Read the full report.