The average fuel economy for new cars sold last month remained at the all-time high of 24.5 mpg, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. This is the second consecutive month that it has remained at this level. This is a 4.4 mpg jump since October 2007, when the university first began its monitoring.
The university uses the data as part of its calculation for its Eco-Driving Index, which measures the monthly emissions of greenhouse gases generated by an individual driver and has found that because more people are buying more fuel-efficient cars, overall greenhouse gas pollution has dropped considerably. Using the Environmental Protection Agency's estimates for combined city/highway mpg listed on the window sticker for new cars, minivans, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, and data on the amount of driving by the average American, the university says that there has been a 20 percent improvement in greenhouse gas emissions by the average American driver since it first began monitoring in October 2007.
For consumers, this increase in fuel economy translates to a lower cost of car ownership, which includes factors such as gasoline costs, repairs and maintenance and car insurance costs.
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.