Study shows tiny increases in fuel economy since 1991
Consumersê preference for buying as much car as they can afford is not a new trend. A new study from the University of Michigan offers hard figures to show how little fleet fuel economy has improved in the past 26 years.
The studyês authors used information about distances driven and fuel consumed to calculate the actual, on-road fuel economy for the entire fleet. For that reason, the figures are much lower than EPAês fuel economy figures. But the trend is clear.
Fuel economy decreased from 14 mpg in 1923 to 11.9 mpg in 1973. Starting in 1974, fuel economy increased rapidly to 16.9 mpg in 1991. But the figure has moved very little since then, with 2015 seeing fuel economy of 17.9 mpg.Download Bulletin PDF