Gas mileage up slightly last month

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ANN ARBOR—Fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. during July fell just shy of the all-time high, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Average fuel economy (window-sticker values) of cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs purchased last month was 25.6 mpg, just off the record-high of 25.7 mpg in May, but up from 25.5 mpg in June. Vehicle fuel economy is now up 5.5 mpg from October 2007, the first month of monitoring by UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle.

In addition to average fuel economy, Sivak and Schoettle issued a monthly update of their national Eco-Driving Index, which estimates the average monthly emissions generated by an individual U.S. driver. The EDI takes into account both the fuel used per distance driven and the amount of driving—the latter relying on data that are published with a two-month lag.

The EDI stood at 0.79 (the lower the value, the better) during May, down from 0.80 in April. The record is 0.78, a mark set four times in the last year. The index currently shows emissions of greenhouse gases per driver of newly purchased vehicles are now down 21 percent, overall, since October 2007.

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