Fact #955: December 12, 2016 New Light Vehicle Fuel Economy at an All-Time High

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The fuel economy of new light vehicles has generally risen since 2004 and reached an all-time high of 25.6 miles per gallon in model year (MY) 2016. The production-weighted average fuel economy of three of the vehicle classes – cars, car sport utility vehicles (SUVs), and truck SUVs – had never been higher than in MY 2016. For pickups and minivans, the MY 2016 average fuel economy reached the same level as a previous high. Car SUVs experienced a 131% improvement in fuel economy from MY 1975 to 2016 – the largest improvement of any vehicle class. Overall, pickups had the smallest fuel economy improvement of the vehicle classes (60%) likely due to changes in size and power of pickups sold over the time period shown.

New Light Vehicle Fuel Economy by Vehicle Class, MY 1975-2016

Graph showing new light vehicle fuel economy by vehicle class for the model years 1975 through 2016.

Notes:

  • Model year 2016 data are preliminary.
  • To see a list of vehicles in the car SUV category, see Table 4.9 in the Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 35.
  • Average fuel economy is the production-weighted harmonic mean.

Fact #955 Dataset

Supporting Information

New Light Vehicle Fuel Economy by Vehicle Class, MY 1975-2016
Model YearFuel Economy (Miles per Gallon)
CarCar SUVPickupTruck SUVMinivan/vanAll Light Vehicles
197513.511.111.911.011.113.1
197614.910.612.411.811.814.2
197715.612.213.612.812.515.1
197816.911.613.312.312.115.8
197917.214.313.210.511.515.9
198020.014.616.513.214.119.2
198121.414.717.914.314.820.5
198222.219.818.514.714.721.1
198322.120.718.915.815.121.0
198422.419.318.316.216.121.0
198523.020.118.216.516.521.3
198623.718.918.917.017.521.8
198723.819.419.017.317.722.0
198824.119.218.117.017.921.9
198923.719.117.816.617.821.4
199023.318.817.416.417.821.2
199123.418.218.216.717.921.3
199223.117.817.516.217.920.8
199323.517.017.616.318.220.9
199423.318.017.416.017.820.4
199523.417.816.916.018.120.5
199623.318.417.116.218.320.4
199723.419.216.816.118.220.2
199823.418.217.016.218.720.1
199923.018.516.316.118.319.7
200022.917.916.716.018.619.8
200123.018.816.016.418.019.6
200223.119.315.816.318.719.5
200323.319.916.116.419.019.6
200423.120.015.716.519.219.3
200523.520.215.816.719.319.9
200623.320.516.117.219.520.1
200724.120.616.217.719.520.6
200824.321.216.518.219.821.0
200925.322.016.919.320.122.4
201026.223.016.919.720.122.6
201126.123.717.219.821.022.4
201227.923.417.220.021.323.7
201328.624.517.420.921.124.3
201428.724.618.021.721.324.3
201529.425.318.822.021.924.8
201629.825.619.022.621.925.6

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends Report: 1975 Through 2016, November 2016, EPA-420-R-16-010, Tables 2.1 and 3.1.

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