By on June 6, 2014

EDI_mpg_May-2014

Though the new-car fuel economy average stumbled a bit in April, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute says May’s figure more than made up for it by setting a new monthly record high of 25.6 mpg.

Autoblog Green reports the latest figure is also 3.2 percent higher than the 24.8 mpg average from May 2013. As for the long game, UMTRI found the five-year fuel economy average climbed 20 percent, due in part to both automakers making and customers buying more fuel efficient offerings, as well as alternative fuel vehicles, hybrids, PHEVs and EVs.

In addition, the department released their unadjusted CAFE mpg figures for May 2014, where the fuel economy average is 31.1 mpg. Both figures are based on methodology established by UMTRI in October of 2007.

EDI_CAFE_May-2014

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41 Comments on “May 2014 New-Car Fuel Economy Average Climbs To 25.6 MPG...”


  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    suggest you track this chart against US average gas prices. should make for some interesting discussion.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      I’ll help you. The price of gasoline increased 700% between 1998 and 2008. Per capita oil consumption and VMT increased. Fuel economy probably would have declined, if not for CAFE, as Americans gorged on SUVs and fullsize trucks. Fuel conservation didn’t occur until the recession slashed household income and employment rates (less commuting).

      There is no correlation. The push for higher-taxes is about higher revenues and the appearance of moral progress.

      • 0 avatar
        LeMansteve

        “The price of gasoline increased 700% between 1998 and 2008”

        700%? What’s your source for that information?

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          My mistake. I meant oil prices jumped from $20 to $140. Gasoline prices only increased by 400%.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            The price of gas is higher relative to the price of a bbl of oil now than it was when oil spiked above $140.

            The thing is, with the massive amount of speculation poured into commodities, the price of oil is less dependent on supply and demand and the price of gas is less dependent on the price of oil.

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            1998 was a bit of an outlier, though — and those numbers are nominal. Adjusting for inflation, gasoline in 2008 was about 240% of the price in 1998 — but 184% of the adjusted 1988 price. And 2008 was almost identical to 1981 in real dollars.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            I excluded inflation because real wages were declining during the period in question. By using 1998, I avoided cherry-picking income data, since real income spiked in 2000, and gasoline tumbled to historic lows in 1999. I could have exploited both of those anomalies, if I wanted to make the numbers look more extreme.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Why the mid-year plummet during some model years? Are more trucks typically sold in the 2nd half of each year?

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      That’s a really interesting question I’d be curious about as well. People buying 4WD/AWD vehicles to gear up for winter? Dealers clearing out truck inventory with higher incentives at model-year-end? Buyers more willing to buy less fuel-efficient vehicles as gas prices dip after the summer driving season?

      • 0 avatar
        LeMansteve

        My initial thought was “Dealers clearing out truck inventory with higher incentives at model-year-end”. You make other good points and it’s probably a combination of many factors.

        Also note that the end of each Model Year is in September, so really the sales-weighted MPG dips are occurring across spring and summer.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Kids are out of school, you’re going on vacations, it’s too hot – don’t have the time or inclination to spend time outside car shopping.

  • avatar
    redav

    More efficiency, and we aren’t driving a bunch of penalty boxes (unless, of course, you’re into that kind of thing). It makes all those complaints & conspiracy theories seem stupid. (Well, they always seemed stupid, but now there’s data proving they were stupid.)

    The next step in process is making cars lighter (than they have been recently, if not lighter than they were 30 yrs ago), which improves handling as well as efficiency. I wonder if the anti-CAFE crowd will complain about that, too.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      What complaints and conspiracy theories? Not being sarcastic.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Were you reading many car sites when the CAFE rules were changed? They were full of vitriol about how the “gubment wuz gunna terk er cars!” It was the same ignorance & bigotry that pops up on most threads with politics.

    • 0 avatar
      orangefruitbat

      That’s a 25% improvement in 6 years, which is pretty fantastic. I suppose we’ll all get use to the sad sound of CVTs and complain about the lack of manual options (sigh), but overall, it’s a net win for everyone.

    • 0 avatar
      JD23

      Those things are all good, but I’d like to see the average price of a new car compared to income.

  • avatar
    challenger2012

    You are making too much sense. The anti-CAFE types don’t wants facts or logic, but rather horror stories real or imagined. Cars that are safer, more fuel efficient, cheaper to operate and more responsive, to them, cannot be a good thing, especially if it comes from government regulations. Tea Bags or Tin Hats, just losers.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      That’s rich coming from a guy who bought a Challenger.

      • 0 avatar
        challenger2012

        Dan Is the Tea Bag too tight or the Tin Hat too tight? I have no problem with CAFE. If V-8’s disappear due to MGP requirements, I could not care any less. I don’t live in my personal paranoid world of socialism, birth certificates, mind control etc. Safer, more responsive, and cheaper cars, looks good to me. I choose a Challenger because I wanted one, not as a protest or a statement against the gob’mint CAFE.

    • 0 avatar
      otter

      Challenger, not all “anti-CAFE” types are created alike! :) I’m not sure I’d quite call myself anti-CAFE but I don’t think it has been make-do at best as policy, leading to market distortions created by things like the separate truck and car standards – things like PT Cruisers being considered trucks, wagons having ground clearance added so they can be considered trucks for CAFE purposes, footprint requirements, etc. Higher fuel taxes would have been much more effective, I think.

  • avatar

    Great news, I’ve been waiting for it since the Carter Administration.
    I wonder how Fox News and their Saudi backers, will respond.

  • avatar

    Soul-less 4-cylinder econoboxes with a turbocharger and a “sport” badge.

  • avatar
    TW5

    I’m looking forward to seeing the movement in EPA fuel efficiency, when the new 2015 Ford F-150 is released. If the mpg rumors are correct, fuel-efficiency stats will get a big boost.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    But the percentage of new cars on the road is constantly going down. I’d love to see the (possibly too complicated to calculate) average MPG of registered cars. Anyone know where that might live? Oh wait, I could just look at fuel sales and miles driven stats.

  • avatar

    In today’s scenario, fuel economy is a important factor to consider when buying a new car. By choosing a greener eco-friendly vehicle, you can make a real difference.

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