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Vehicle fuel economy at highest mark since last summer

February 5, 2015

Gas mileage of new vehicles sold in the U.S. was up last month for the first time since last August, according to researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Average fuel economy (window-sticker values) of cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs purchased in January was 25.4 mpg, up from 25.1 mpg in December but down from August's all-time high of 25.8 mpg. Overall, vehicle fuel economy is up 5.3 mpg from October 2007, the first full month of monitoring by UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and 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.

After a two-month slide, the EDI improved to a record-tying low of 0.77 in November (the lower the value, the better). The index currently shows emissions of greenhouse gases per driver of newly purchased vehicles are now down 23 percent, overall, since October 2007.

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