Every month, Ward's Auto posts its Fuel Economy Index (FEI) numbers. Last time around, we noted that Ward's witnessed a decrease in buyer interest in fuel-efficient vehicles. While the numbers did indicate that overall fuel efficiency was still on the rise, it was also evident that buyers were opting for larger, less efficient vehicles. The FEI numbers posted for May are even more disturbing.

As the numbers show, vehicles with a rating of 30-plus miles per gallon have suffered a dramatic drop in sales. For the first five months of 2010, sales of vehicles with that 30-plus MPG rating have dropped by 10 percent compared to the same period in 2009. Overall, these high-efficiency cars accounted for four percent of the market in 2009, but now only hold a three percent share. A few of these efficient vehicles suffered mightily: sales of the Toyota Camry Hybrid dropped 40 percent, Civic Hybrid sales plummeted by 77 percent and Honda Fit numbers fell off by 19.7 percent. Ward's Auto suggests that low gas prices have led to the decreased interest in fuel-efficient vehicles, which, can lead right into a discussion about the need for a gas tax once again.

[Source: Ward's Auto – sub. req.]

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