University of Michigan – Fuel Efficiency in Trucks Rises

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A new report produced by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute has found good news for truck owners. Fuel efficiency of new pickup trucks has risen as much as 14 percent over in the past four years, equally an increase of three miles per gallon.

Fuel Efficiency in Trucks Rises

A recent study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institue states that fuel efficiency has risen in many trucks.

The researchers conducted the survey by reviewing vehicles made by all major automakers who sell cars in the United States. They looked at data from the EPA and also looked at fuel economy changes by vehicle types:

  • light trucks vs. cars
  • car class size
  • transmission type
  • number of engine cylinders
  • drive type
  • fuel type
  • hybrid vs. conventional vehicles

The big news is for diesel trucks owners who have seen their fuel economy improve by an average of 9.8 mpg. This tremendous growth in mile per gallon is truly impressive when you consider they already had a large fuel economy edge over gas-powered engines.

This big increase contrasts with the relatively small increase of 2.6 percent for gas-powered cars which make up the majority of new car sales.

The study also points out that for 2012 light-duty vehicles (cars, pickup trucks, minivans, vans and SUVs) for sale average 21.5mpg which compared to 2008 vehicles was 18.9 mpg.

Most surprisingly is the news that hybrid cars ave seen their fuel economy drop 3 mpg over the past 4 years. Researchers point out this is probably due to market saturation more than a drop in technology since in 2008 the Toyota Prius was the main hybrid vehicle.

These new numbers come as no real surprise as car manufacturers have been continuing to improve mile per gallon output trying to entice new customers. The research simply confirms what we all have been seeing. Hopefully the fuel improvement in light-duty vehicles will make its way into the full-size truck market.

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Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. Mickey says:

    If I slow down my mpg’s goes up.

  2. Jason (Admin) says:

    Mickey – Good advice as always – as you know, aerodynamic drag increases dramatically at 65mph when compared to 55mph, and can nearly double from 55mph to 75mph…so, slower saves gas.

    But why am I telling you this? You get the best mileage in the country!! 🙂

  3. Will says:

    One great way to save fuel is to do minimal braking for turns. When coming up to a turn or bend, threshold brake at the limit of adhesion and slowly release the brakes as your turn the wheel. Once your come out of the turn you will still be near the speed limit. Why brake, it only slows you down! If you experience oversteer, countersteer!

  4. Mike T says:

    Idling gets zero miles per gallon and collectively consumes several billion gallons of fuel per year, according to the California Energy Commission (CEC) advises that vehicles should be turned off if the expected wait will be longer than 10 seconds, since an idling vehicle can burn as much as one gallon of gas each hour. Turning the car off can save about 5 cents per minute.

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