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Improved Fuel Economy - 11/17/16

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average fuel economy of twenty fifteen model year vehicles increased by half a gallon to a record high of nearly twenty five miles per gallon.  Mazda had the highest average fuel economy at nearly thirty miles per gallon.  Fiat Chrysler had the lowest, at less than twenty one miles per gallon. 

As reported by the New York Times, weight loss helps explain general improvements in fuel economy.  Vehicles were an average of twenty five pounds lighter during the twenty fifteen model year than they were the year prior.  Automakers are increasingly utilizing lighter materials like aluminum. 

Remarkably, vehicle weight is thought to have declined by another fifty pounds in twenty sixteen.  Trucks are generally heavier than cars, but they experienced the largest weight declines in twenty fifteen, losing an average of one hundred and ten points.  Car weights were actually flat from the prior year.  Other technologies are helping, including new engine and transmission technologies. 

Engines with gasoline direct injection, which waste less fuel than traditional engines, are expected to be used in half of new vehicles during the two thousand and sixteen model year, up from just three percent in two thousand and eight.    

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.