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New passenger vehicles set fuel efficiency record

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July 27, 2012—New passenger vehicles entering the U.S. market set a record in the first half of this year for high fuel efficiency, according to industry analysts Baum and Associates.

From January to June this year, the average fuel efficiency of new passenger vehicles was 23.8 miles per gallon. The record before this had been set at 22.7 miles per gallon over the same period last year.

The calculations were made using monthly fuel economy data from the University of Michigan and sales data from Wards Automotive, according to a news release_notes.

"Thanks to a bumper crop of fuel efficient models in the most popular segments, consumers don't have to choose between fuel efficiency and performance," said Alan Baum, principal of Baum and Associates. "No matter what type of vehicle you want, midsize car, minivan, SUV or pickup truck, carmakers are now upping fuel efficiency performance across the board. The new era of auto fuel efficiency is truly here."

He said in a news release that there are more fuel-efficient vehicles available to consumer, and that consumers are buying larger fuel-efficient cars — not simply small high-mileage vehicles.

Federal standards for fuel efficiency are also being rolled out. By 2016, average laboratory fuel efficiency ratings must be 35.5 miles per gallon, or a label average of 27.3 miles per gallon, according to the news release. By 2025, the standards will increase to 54.5 miles per gallon.

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