Fuel Economy Continues to Improve

Fuel economy has substantially improved over the past two decades. The introduction of advanced combustion strategies and hybrids helps to continue the positive trend.

Fuel economy plot with vehicle model year

In 1975, the sedan/wagon class had the highest average fuel economy at 13.5 miles per gallon (mpg) – not so impressive by today’s standards. By 2021, the average fuel economy for the sedan/wagon class had risen to 31.7 mpg! That is a 235% improvement due to some impressive engineering advances.

From 1975 to the mid-1980s, vehicles experienced a sharp increase in fuel economy, due to the oil crisis. This was then followed by a period where the average fuel economy among vehicle classes remained relatively flat as fuel prices stabilized.

Beginning around 2000, with added interest in emissions and efficiency, fuel economies began to rise again. While all vehicle classes have experienced impressive gains in fuel economy over the past two decades, the SUV class  has seen a 70% improvement since 2000The sharp increase in the van/minivan class in the last few years is likely due to the introduction of hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.

Source: DOE Fact of the Week #1237

Read the full article at: https://www.energy.gov/eere/vehicles/articles/fotw-1237-may-9-2022-fuel-economy-all-vehicle-classes-has-improved