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The effect of the oil crisis in the mid-1970s and subsequent rise of smaller import vehicles is evident in the graph below, showing a dramatic fall in average vehicle weight from model years 1975 to the mid-1980s. Since that time, the average weight of both cars and light trucks has increased. In the last few years, the average weight seems to be leveling โ€“ in 2012, both cars and light trucks have a similar weight as in 2004. Interestingly, the average weight for cars remains well below 1975 levels while the average weight for light trucks remains well above 1975 levels.

Average Weight of New Cars and Light Trucks, Model Years 1975-2012
Graph showing the average weight of new cars and light trucks for the model years 1975 to 2012. See table below for more detailed information.

Supporting Information

Average Weight of New Cars and Light Trucks, 1975-2012 (Pounds)
Model Year Cars Light Trucks
1975 4,057 4,073
1976 4,059 4,155
1977 3,944 4,136
1978 3,588 4,152
1979 3,485 4,257
1980 3,101 3,869
1981 3,076 3,806
1982 3,053 3,813
1983 3,112 3,773
1984 3,101 3,787
1985 3,096 3,803
1986 3,043 3,741
1987 3,035 3,718
1988 3,051 3,850
1989 3,104 3,932
1990 3,178 4,014
1991 3,168 3,961
1992 3,254 4,078
1993 3,241 4,098
1994 3,268 4,149
1995 3,274 4,201
1996 3,297 4,255
1997 3,285 4,394
1998 3,334 4,317
1999 3,390 4,457
2000 3,401 4,421
2001 3,411 4,543
2002 3,415 4,612
2003 3,437 4,655
2004 3,492 4,783
2005 3,498 4,763
2006 3,563 4,758
2007 3,551 4,871
2008 3,569 4,837
2009 3,502 4,753
2010 3,536 4,784
2011 3,617 4,824
2012 3,482 4,779
Source: Environmental Protection Agency, Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2012, EPA-420-S-13-001, March 2013.

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