Study: Cars to Get 37.2 MPG by 2040


The government's Energy Information Administration released its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook report, which had plenty of nuggets on what it expects Americans to drive between now and 2040.

EIA expects overall vehicle-miles traveled to increase, on average, 0.9 percent between 2012 and 2040 — down significantly from the 1.2 percent annual projection over the same span in the EIA's 2013 outlook.

Mileage Rules Bump Car Costs, Savings at the Pump

Still, the agency projects overall vehicle fuel efficiency to improve 2 percent per year as newer cars replace older ones. That means cars should average 37.2 mpg by 2040, up from 21.5 mpg in 2012, and it "more than offsets" the increase in vehicle-miles traveled.

The upshot is that America's cars will use less energy (including fuel) in 2040 even as vehicle-miles increase; that's a shift from the average 1 percent annual growth rate between 1975 and 2012. Don't confuse the mileage with corporate average fuel economy mandates, which stipulate 54.5 mpg by 2025. CAFE measures unadjusted (not window-sticker) mileage in new cars sold, not all cars currently on the road.

Don't expect plug-in cars and hybrids to take over, either. EIA expects conventional gasoline engines — not hybrids, flex-fuel (E85) engines, diesels or plug-ins — to account for 78 percent of the new cars sold in 2040, which is down just slightly from 2012's 82 percent. But those won't be the engines of today. EIA projects 42 percent of those 2040 sellers to have so-called "micro hybridization" attributes like regenerative brakes or idle stop-start systems. Of the 22 percent of 2040 sellers that aren't conventional gasoline (micro-hybridized or otherwise), 11 percent will be flex-fuel cars, 5 percent will be full hybrids (up from 3 percent in 2012) and 4 percent will be diesels (up from 2 percent). EVs and plug-in hybrids will account for the remaining 2 percent (up from nearly zero percent in 2012).

2012 Saw Gains in New-Vehicle Fuel Economy
EPA Names Mazda Most Fuel-Efficient Automaker
More Fuel Efficiency News

By Kelsey Mays | December 19, 2013 | Comments (2)



...and while we'll go further than ever on a tank of gas, we'll save no money.


For the last 3 consecutive years, gas prices were held above $3 / gallon.

On Sep 16 it was consecutive 1000 days and now another 95 days added for 3 years.

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App