American cars giving slightly more miles per gallon

American cars giving slightly more miles per gallon

Summary: Since 2004 the U.S. auto fleet has been getting gradually more efficient.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

The avergae MPG of cars driven by Americans continues to edge up. According to the EPA, average MPG hit 21 in 2008. It's up nearly 2 MPG since 2004.

High gas prices and then the cash for clunkers program are expected to keep the MPG moving up this year. CO2 emissions have also been fallling since 2004. That year marked a turnaround in the U.S. The EPA reports CO2 emissions increased and fuel efficiency decreased in the United States from 1987 to 2004.


Honda again leads in fuel efficiency on American highways, says the EPA. Next come Hyundai-Kia and then Toyota. VW finished fourth in fleet efficiency. Both GM and Ford showed fuel efficiency gains.

Topic: Tech Industry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • More MPG...

    Excellent in <FONT COLOR=red><B>my</B></FONT> book!
    X Marks The Spot
  • 'tis just the beginning, I think

    Very nice. I expect the MPG climb to continue, even
    accelerate. From what I've seen so far, the automobile
    manufacturers are doing a great job of paying more
    attention to MPG.
  • Well, this is actually a good thing

    Cars have needed to be getting more fuel efficient.
    Really, most of our cars (small cars and sedans) should
    be getting 40-50 miles per gallon.
  • Headline says it all

    Cars in Europe have been getting better mpg than American ones for the past two decades. America needs to get serious.

    This isn't an environemntal issue, or a Dem vs. Rep issue. It's a national security issue.

    • Apples to Oranges: Have you ever been to Europe?

      The air in most European cities is unbreathable
      compared to ours. Why? Since the '70s, cars
      sold in America have to conform to much higher
      emissions standards than their European
      counterparts. The price we pay for that is
      lower mileage.

      We long ago made the choice that we preferred
      cleaner air to better mileage, although most
      American's don't know it.
  • RE: American cars giving slightly more miles per gallon

    Average mpg in Europe is about 40-46mpg.
    I don't think we've had an appallingly low average as 21mpg since the early 1970s.
  • Full and Fair Comparisons?

    It doesn't say in the item linked to, but I'd guess that the US and European figures quoted have allowed for the US gallon being smaller.

    Also note that the figures are those found by official tests of vehicles.

    We don't know from the article what is done with the vehicles in practice. Do Europeans drive faster? Do Americans load their cars more heavily? Who does more city driving? Who drives their cars further? Who maintains them better?

    Not saying the tests are worthless or the progress isn't good.

  • RE: American cars giving slightly more miles per gallon

    Here's the full report - if you've got a week spare to read it.