According to the EPA, fuel economy among U.S. vehicles is at a record high. The agency puts “˜real-world” consumption for 2009 models at 22.4 mpg; slightly higher than the previous record set back in “07. The news is only expected to get better however, as it is projected that the same figure for 2010 will be 22.5 mpg.
Primary factors contributing to the increase are decreases in both vehicle weight and horsepower. Cars have been getting increasingly heavier and more powerful since 1987, when the average car got 118 horsepower and weighed 3,221 pounds. By 2008, weight had increased by 25%, and horsepower had nearly doubled.
Automakers are also facing new mandates that will increase average fuel-economy. By 2016 the U.S. fleet must average 34.1 mpg, but that figure is calculated using a different method than “˜real-world” efficiency. Those figures usually work out to be 20% lower.
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Detroit News