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From 1975 to 2019, fuel economy for all new light-duty vehicles produced for sale in the United States has increased from an average of 13.1 miles per gallon (mpg) to 25.5 mpg, a 95% increase. This is a significant improvement considering the new vehicle mix has recently shifted heavily towards SUVs and pickups, which generally have lower fuel economy than cars. The car SUV category showed the most improvement from 1975 to 2019 with a 143% increase in fuel economy. Cars, truck SUVs and vans each increased by more than 100% in that same time frame, while pickups increased by 63%.

Change in new light-duty vehicle fuel economy (cars, car SUV, truck SUV. van, pickup, and all) from 1975 to 2019.

Note: Data for 2019 are preliminary. Data are production weighted. The “Car SUV” category includes 2-wheel drive SUV with inertia weight of 4,000 lb. or less.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2019 EPA Automotive Trends Report, EPA-420-R-20-006, March 2020.

Fact #1138 Dataset

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