New-Car Fuel Economy Highest Ever

By Matthew Askari | November 06, 2012
New cars in the U.S. are more fuel-efficient than ever, according to a new study. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute said the average fuel economy in the U.S. was 24.1 mpg, based on new-car window stickers sold in October 2012. That's 4.0 mpg greater than October 2007. Earlier this week a probe into Hyundai and Kia reported fuel economy numbers led the automaker to admit it had inflated mpg claims. The survey is said to account for the updated EPA mileage numbers. The 20-percent fuel economy improvement is due in part to an almost identical 17 percent reduction in fuel consumption. While automakers have been largely downsizing engines and making more fuel-efficient vehicles, the industry has seen a rise in hybrid vehicle purchases. Cars such as the Toyota Prius and Chevy Volt use electric batteries to reduce gasoline consumption. Unlike purely electric vehicles which haven't quite caught-on as many had predicted, hybrid have a traditional gasoline engine in addition to a battery pack. The combination alleviates range-anxiety, as once the battery-pack is depleted, the car can run on gasoline without needing to be recharged. We expect the trend to continue, as automakers are continually looking for ways to push the mpg-envelope. Source: Detroit News