By Brad Boyer
Despite the record low gas prices, the demand for fuel efficient cars remains strong in the early part of 2016. According to the University of Michigan study, the average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in January 2016 was 25.1 mpg—up 0.2 mpg from the value for December 2015. This increase likely reflects the month-to-month seasonal decrease in sales of pickup trucks and SUVs. Overall, however, fuel economy is down 0.7 mpg from the peak reached in August 2014, but still up 5.0 mpg since October 2007 (the first month of our monitoring).
The University of Michigan Eco-Driving Index (EDI)—an index that estimates the average monthly emissions of greenhouse gases generated by an individual U.S. driver—was 0.82 in November 2015, down 0.01 from the revised value for October 2015 (the lower the value the better). This value indicates that the average new-vehicle driver produced 18% lower emissions in November 2015 than in October 2007, but 4% higher emissions than the record low reached in August 2014.
For a complete description of the calculations and the recent MPG values, geek out on this study by the University of Michigan.