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 – 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
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Supporting Information

Average Weight of New Cars and Light Trucks, 1975-2012 (Pounds)
Model YearCarsLight Trucks
19754,0574,073
19764,0594,155
19773,9444,136
19783,5884,152
19793,4854,257
19803,1013,869
19813,0763,806
19823,0533,813
19833,1123,773
19843,1013,787
19853,0963,803
19863,0433,741
19873,0353,718
19883,0513,850
19893,1043,932
19903,1784,014
19913,1683,961
19923,2544,078
19933,2414,098
19943,2684,149
19953,2744,201
19963,2974,255
19973,2854,394
19983,3344,317
19993,3904,457
20003,4014,421
20013,4114,543
20023,4154,612
20033,4374,655
20043,4924,783
20053,4984,763
20063,5634,758
20073,5514,871
20083,5694,837
20093,5024,753
20103,5364,784
20113,6174,824
20123,4824,779
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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