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Fuel Efficiency Record for New Auto's Hits U.S.


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The U.S. government in 1975 created CAFE and since that time the push was to make new auto's more fuel efficient. The auto industry has always balked at it but has also always delivered. With that we have seen some interesting trends happen. In 1987 the average auto weighed 3,221 lbs and had 118 horsepower were as in 2008 the weight had increased by 25% and the horsepower had doubled. 

2009 is the most current year for full records and that shows that new auto's achieved 22.4 MPG. With a strong economy we are also seeing people leave their efficient cars and move to trucks / suv's so this could really change again.

To quote the story of other interesting facts:

  • V8 engines were in 62 percent of all light duty vehicles in 1975, 17 percent in 2008 and 12 percent in 2009.
  • Truck production fell to 40 percent of the 2009 fleet which is down from 47 percent in 2008, the lowest level since 1995. 
  • Overall fuel efficiency is up 16 percent since 2004.
  • According to the EPA the "real world" fuel economy ratings are nearly 20 percent lower on average than the ratings used for compliance with the CAFE standards.

With the trend towards larger trucks and SUVs one would think the CAFE would drop for OEMs. Yet with the stricter CAFE guidelines we should still see the average fleet hit mid 30's this year.

CarsDirect story

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