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Filed under: Car Buying, Hybrid, Technology, Porsche, Diesel

It's amazing what a little regulation can do for an industry. In the past four years, the fuel economy of new vehicles has improved by an average of 14 percent, according to a new study by the University of Michigan. This increase comes on the heels of big hikes in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, which Congress raised in 2007 for the first time in decades. Since then, CAFE has been set at 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016, and a new proposal that's pending would raise the fuel economy standard to 54.5 mpg by 2025.

The Michigan study showed that the average fuel efficiency of 2012 light-duty vehicles on the market was 21.5 mpg, up from 18.9 in 2008. Adjusted for the vehicles that are actually purchased, the number is even higher, with 2011 coming in at 22.5 mpg. Researchers say that shows that consumers are buying models with better fuel economy.

The biggest efficiency improvements over the past four years came from diesels, which jumped 9.8 mpg, likely as a result of more diesel passenger cars being offered. Hybrids, oddly enough, saw their average fuel economy drop by 3 mpg's, no doubt because of a number of larger and thirstier hybrids hitting the market, like the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid.

Click past the jump to read the full press release.Continue reading New vehicles 14% more fuel efficient than four years ago

New vehicles 14% more fuel efficient than four years ago originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 10 Feb 2012 09:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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