Gas mileage of cars on the road shows little progress since ê90s
Despite steady advancements in fuel-saving technologies over the past 25 years, fuel economy of vehicles on the road has improved by less than a mile per gallon in that time, say researchers at the Unversity of Michigan. Thatês partly because it takes many years to turn over the fleet.
The actual, on-road fuel economy for the entire fleet of vehicles (including cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles) only improved from 16.9 mpg in 1991 to 17.6 mpg in 2013.
After the 1973 oil embargo, vehicle maufacturers achieved major improvements in the on-road fuel economy of vehicles, said Michael Sivak, a research professor at U. Michiganês Transportation Research Institute. But the pace of improvement has decreased substantially since 1991.
To increase fuel economy overall, the focus should be on the least-efficient vehicles within each class, Sivak said. For example, an improvement from 15 mpg to 16 mpg for a vehicle driven 12,000 miles in a year saves 50 gallons of fuel over that period.Download Bulletin PDF