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Increased vehicle weight and better performance can require more energy, which negatively impacts fuel economy. Advances in vehicle technology, however, have allowed automakers to continue improving vehicle performance while still providing consumers with better fuel economy.

Horsepower increased 144%, weight increased 33%, and acceleration improved by 51%, while fuel economy of new vehicles improved by 33% from model year 1980 to 2022. In the 1990s and early 2000s, fuel economy decreased while vehicle weight increased. Fuel economy has improved nearly every year since 2004.

New Light-Duty Vehicle Characteristics, 1980-2022

Notes: Data for 2022 are preliminary. The data are based on production-weighted averages.

Source: Environmental Protection Agency,2022 EPA Automotive Trends Report, December 2022.