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With more stringent federal fuel economy standards coming, it should be no surprise that the average new-vehicle fuel economy is on the rise. Automotive News cites a study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (Go Blue!), that shows that the 24.9-mile-per-gallon average for August of 2013 is nearly five miles per gallon better than when UMTRI started keeping track in October 2007.

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The good news is that the average fuel fuel economy of the entire US light-duty fleet improved by 40 percent over the past four decades (increasing from 13 miles per gallon to 21.6 mpg). The bad news is that Americans drive more, and with fewer passengers in each vehicle, undercutting the impact of the fuel economy gains.

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