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The sales-weighted fuel economy average of all light vehicles sold in model year (MY) 2009 was 1.4 miles per gallon (mpg) higher than MY2008. This is the largest annual increase in fuel economy since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began recording new car fuel economy data in 1975. In addition, the 22.4 mpg average in 2009 is the highest fuel economy in the series, topping the previous high of 22.0 in 1987. According to the EPA, fuel economy has moved through four phases over the years:

Line graph showing the share weighted fuel economy for new light vehicles from 1975 to 2009. For more detailed information, see supporting information below.

Supporting Information

New Light Vehicle Fuel Economy, 1975-2009
Model Year Miles per Gallon
1975 13.1
1976 14.2
1977 15.1
1978 15.8
1979 15.9
1980 19.2
1981 20.5
1982 21.1
1983 21.0
1984 21.0
1985 21.3
1986 21.8
1987 22.0
1988 21.9
1989 21.4
1990 21.2
1991 21.2
1992 20.8
1993 20.9
1994 20.4
1995 20.5
1996 20.4
1997 20.1
1998 20.1
1999 19.7
2000 19.8
2001 19.6
2002 19.4
2003 19.6
2004 19.3
2005 19.9
2006 20.1
2007 20.6
2008 21.0
2009 22.4

Note: Fuel economy data are sales-weighted EPA adjusted values.
Source: EPA, Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2010, November 2010.

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