A vehicle footprint is the area defined by the four points where the tires touch the ground. It is calculated as the product of the wheelbase and the average track width of the vehicle. The upcoming Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards have fuel economy targets based on the vehicle footprint. The average footprint for all cars sold in model year (MY) 2010 was 45.2 square feet (sq ft), down just 0.2 sq ft from 2008. The average footprint for light trucks was higher – 54.0 in 2010.

Average Vehicle Footprint, 2008-2010

Supporting Information

Average Vehicle Footprint, 2008-2010
Model YearCarLight TruckAll Light Vehicles

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2010, Table 2.

Return to 2011 Facts of the Week