Changing US Car Purchase Preferences Improve Fuel Economy, GHG Emissions

Fuel prices have induced the purchase of more fuel efficient vehicles in the United States. This is the Demographia finding from an analysis of the 10 most popular automobiles and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), as reported by Ward’s Automotive.

In the first 6 months of 2008, the average fuel economy of these 20 vehicles was 23.7 miles per gallon. This is an improvement of nearly 4 percent from 2007. Over the period, the share of SUVs among these vehicles fell from 51 percent to 44 percent.

If this improvement is reflective of overall buying patterns and continues, this change in consumer preference alone would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States by approximately 43,000,000 metric tons per year.

See: US Consumer Choice in Automobiles