How big trucks and SUVs are killing US fuel economy

Image for article titled How Large Trucks and SUVs Are Drag Down America's Fuel Economy

photo: Mario Tama (Getty Images)

truck and big SUVs compensate fuel savings of more efficient models in the US as limousine and car sales have crashed. While electric vehicles slowly gain momentum and this despite the fact that car manufacturers have increased the efficiency of new models, nationwide average fuel efficiency is being dragged down by pickups and stagnating at 25.4 miles per gallon in 2021 — as is 2020, after a report from the EPA.

As we said earlier, the average US fleet fuel economy remained flat due to the popularity of trucks and trucks Truck-based SUVs (as well as other 4WD SUVs or those over 6,000 pounds), which have overtaken their more efficient car and station wagon counterparts in the American market. Sedans and station wagons accounted for just 26 percent of new car sales in 2021, down from 50 percent in 2013 and 80 percent in 1975.

Meanwhile truck based SUV saless were at a record high in 2021, accounting for 45 percent of the total market. Pickup trucks assembled 16 percent. Even if the market share of pickups is still below that of sedans and station wagons Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and Aries 1500 have stayed with it at the top of the list of best-selling models in the US, and have only shown incremental gains in fuel consumption.

That EPA says trucks and so-called truck SUVs gained just 0.1 and 0.3 miles per gallon, respectively, for the 2021 model year. And of all the vehicle types that the EPA examined extensively in the report, trucks have the slimmest efficiency Gains along a timeline stretching back to 1975:

Image for article titled How Large Trucks and SUVs Are Drag Down America's Fuel Economy

photo: Mario Tama (Getty Images)

minivans achieved the biggest gain in fuel economy at 3.9 mpg in 2021, followed by “car SUVs” (in other words, car-based crossovers). an additional 2.6 mpg. Sedans and station wagons weren’t that far ahead of trucks, gaining just 0.5mpg, but these vehicles were are more efficient than trucks from the outset, In 2021 it will average 32.2 mpg. For reference, overall CO2 emissions are down after falling 0.6 percent to a record low of 347 grams per mile driven in 2021.

But also the average size and weight of cars rising and reached a record 4,289 pounds. This further compensates any efficiency gains. So despite steady gains in efficiency in certain vehicle types, and slightly better emissions across the industry, US fuel mileage numbers remain relatively static. It’s just hard to see the positive impact of fuel efficient cars when so many people are skipping them and buying big trucks and SUVs instead.

Image for article titled How Large Trucks and SUVs Are Drag Down America's Fuel Economy

photo: Daniel Acker (Getty Images)

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