2012 fuel economy rises to 23.8 mpg, researchers say
January 4, 2013
by Theresa Clift
The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in 2012 rose to 23.8 mpg, University of Michigan researchers said today, up from 22.5 mpg in 2011 and the highest since the researchers began tracking full-year data in 2008.
Increased demand for cars and alternative-fuel vehicles last year contributed to the rise, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle reported.
Average fuel economy is calculated based on mpg figures posted on window stickers of new cars and light trucks sold.
Cars are generally more fuel efficient than light trucks, which include pickups, SUVs, crossovers and minivans.
U.S. car sales rose 18 percent in 2012, outpacing the 9 percent gain in light-truck volume. Mid-sized sedans, compacts and minicars such as the Chevrolet Spark, Smart ForTwo, Fiat 500 and Scion iQ outpaced the overall U.S. light-vehicle market’s gains.
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