Fuel economy in US vehicles hits 21 year low

The average fuel economy of 2001 model vehicles on the US roads is only 20.4 miles per gallon (mpg), a 21 year low for fuel economy in the country, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced.

The EPA has attributed this poor statistic to the increase in lower fuel efficient light trucks, such as sport utility vehicles, vans, minivans and pickup trucks, on the country’s roads. Model 2001 sport utility vehicles have averaged 17.2 mpg, pickup trucks 16.5 mpg, and vans and minivans 19.3 mpg. Cars have also achieved low efficiency ratings, averaging 24.2 mgp, reports the EPA.

According to the organisation, if manufacturers were to increase fuel economy in their vehicles by as little as three miles per gallon, consumers would save as much as $25 billion per year in fuel costs, reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 140 million metric tonnes per year, and reduce the US’s reliance on foreign oil by a million barrels of oil each day.

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