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Environment

Rosy Outlook For Efficient Autos

by Jeff Johnson
November 5, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 45

Federal actions to promote fuel-efficient vehicles are paying off. Auto analyst Alan A. Baum stressed last week in a briefing and in a report that fuel-efficient and electric vehicles are here to stay. Driven in large part by new federal fuel-efficiency standards, the average vehicle fuel efficiency for model year 2012 reached 23.6 mpg, more than 1 mpg above 2011, Baum says, adding that this is the largest one-year mileage jump in five years. In previous years, Baum says, when fuel efficiency increased, sales dropped, but for model year 2012, sales are on track to increase by 10% above 2011 levels to some 14 million units. Baum adds that electric-gas hybrids, coupled with plug-in electric vehicles, are on track to top a half-million in sales in 2012. Efficiency-conscious consumers, he notes, also have more choices—the number of high-efficiency model vehicles has grown from 28 in 2009 to 61 for the 2013 model year.

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