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U.S. Vehicles Hit All-Time Fuel Efficiency High

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U.S. Vehicles Hit All-Time Fuel Efficiency High

The average fuel economy for vehicles has never been higher.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) annual report shows that 2012 model year cars and trucks averaged 23.6 miles per gallon—an all-time high. That figure is 1.2 miles per gallon higher than 2011 models.

Graphic credit: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The 1.2-mpg improvement is the second best jump in the last three decades. Model year 2013 vehicles are expected to reach at least 24 mpg.

Consumers have more efficient options in the marketplace than ever before, leading to the fuel economy record. Ten of the 11 auto manufacturers shown below increased fuel economy from model year 2011 to model year 2012, according to the EPA:

Table credit: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Fuel economy has increased by 2.6 mpg since 2008 and by 4.3 mpg since 2004.

"Carbon dioxide emissions and fuel economy have improved in seven of the last eight years," the EPA writes. "This recent positive trend reversed the long negative trend from [model year] 1987 through [model year] 2004." 

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