US Auto Fuel Economy Rating Rises to 25.4 MPG in July

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The average fuel-economy rating for new vehicles sold in the United States in July 2017 was 25.4 miles per gallon, an increase of 0.3 mpg from the June average. For all of 2016, the average fuel-economy rating for new vehicles sold was 25.2 mpg, down 0.1 mpg from the 2015 average.

Compared with October 2007, fuel economy ratings on new cars sold has improved by 5.3 miles per gallon, or more than 26%.

While the window sticker average is 5.3 mpg higher than when the data were first collected, the average is 0.1 mpg below its revised all-time high of 25.5 mpg set in August 2014 and the highest monthly average for the first seven months of 2017.

The data are based on the average sales-weighted fuel-economy rating printed on a new car’s window sticker and are compiled by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.

The sales-weighted unadjusted Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) performance rating averaged 31.6 miles per gallon in July, an increase of 0.4 mpg month over month and an improvement of 6.9 mpg since October 2007. These values are not directly comparable to the window-sticker ratings because these are adjusted by the EPA and used to derive the window-sticker ratings.

Sales of pickup trucks from the Detroit Three automakers (GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler) were lower in July 2017 by about 7,000 units compared to July 2016 sales. Because fuel economy is lower for light trucks, the sales-weighted declines in fuel economy ratings may be partially due to fewer truck sales.