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Accession Number PB2013-111195
Title Benefits of Recent Improvements in Vehicle Fuel Economy on Overall Fuel Consumption and Emissions.
Publication Date Oct 2012
Media Count 9p
Personal Author B. Schoettle M. Sivak
Abstract For the past several years, we have calculated (on a monthly basis) the average, sales-weighted fuel economy of all light-duty vehicles (cars, pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs) sold in the U.S. The results indicate that, from October 2007 to September 2012, the average fuel economy has improved by 18%, from 20.1 mpg to 23.8 mpg. This brief note quantifies the consequences of this improvement on overall fuel consumption and vehicle emissions. Because of their improved fuel economy, the vehicles sold since October 2007 saved a cumulative total of about 6.1 billion gallons of fuel--equivalent to the current total consumption of all vehicles in the U.S. for about 13 days. This reduction in the amount of fuel translates to a reduction of about 120 billion pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions. In terms of the current savings, for the most recent month--September 2012 the savings amount to 293 million gallons of fuel, or about 5.7 billion pounds of carbon dioxide. These savings are equivalent to about 2.9% of the average monthly consumption of fuel and of carbon-dioxide emissions from all light-duty vehicles on the road. The data for only cars show the same trends as the data for all vehicles: a decline in fuel economy until 1973, a relatively sharp improvement from 1973 through 1991, and only a minor improvement between 1991 and 2007.
Keywords Benefits
Carbon dioxide
Energy savings
Fuel consumption
Fuel economy
Motor vehicles

Source Agency Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety
NTIS Subject Category 97B - Energy Use, Supply, & Demand
97K - Fuels
85H - Road Transportation
68A - Air Pollution & Control
Corporate Author Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. Transportation Research Inst.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1326
Contract Number N/A

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