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VEHICLE FUEL ECONOMY AT 20-YEAR LOW

Release Date: 12/15/2000
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DEC. 15, 2000

VEHICLE FUEL ECONOMY AT 20-YEAR LOW


The average fuel economy of new model year 2000 vehicles is 24.0 miles per gallon (mpg), as low as it has been since 1980. The most recent EPA annual technical report is available at: www.epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm. The fuel economy remains at a 20-year low because light trucks (sport utility vehicles, vans, minivans and pickup trucks) are less fuel efficient and make up almost half of the U.S. light vehicle market. Model year 2000 sport utility vehicles average 20.0 mpg, pickup trucks average 20.1 mpg, and vans and minivans average 22.5 mpg. Model year 2000 cars average 28.1 mpg. If all manufacturers were to increase average fuel economy by three miles per gallon, consumers would save as much as $25 billion a year in fuel costs; carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced 140 million metric tons annually; and the United States would save a million barrels of oil every day. The reported laboratory data and actual fuel economy are typically lower. EPA and the Department of Energy recently released the 2001 Model Year Fuel Economy Guide, which provides real world fuel economy estimates for new vehicles. The guide is available at: www.fueleconomy.gov.

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