New U.S. cars reach record for fuel efficiency

Sept. 10, 2013 at 12:55 PM
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ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 10 (UPI) -- The auto industry and cost conscience consumers pushed fuel efficiency among new cars sold in the United States to a record high in August, a study found.

The average fuel efficiency for new cars -- helped by newer models that aim for efficiency and older models with improved ratings -- reached 24.9 miles per gallon in August, The New York Times reported.

In a study released Tuesday by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute, researchers said the average mileage rating for August was one-tenth of a gallon more efficient than July.

Over the past six years, the industry's improvement -- from an average of 20.1 mpg in 2007 -- has done well, said Michael Sivak, the director of the University of Michigan's sustainable transportation program.

"The 4.8 mpg. improvement in the course of the past six years is significant both by itself and in comparison to the change in vehicle fuel economy over the past 90 years," he said.

The government has also pushed for changes. The Obama administration has set the industry on course to reach a Corporate Average Fuel Economy of 54.5 mpg by 2025.

Along with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the administration says that reaching the 54.5 mpg standard will reduce fuel costs by $8,000 over the course of an average lifespan for a car.

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