Alex Goldmark is the senior producer of Note to Self, a storytelling show about how technology is changing society. Subscribe here to get Note to Self shows delivered right to your devices. Follow him on Twitter @alexgoldmark.
Two Charts Show Where Our Cars' Carbon Savings Come From
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 12:46 PM
UPDATED with more recent data.
American drivers are using less gas to get around, but it's not because they're driving fewer miles. Still, we're spewing less pollution per driver according to research out of the University of Michigan.
The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in January hit a record 23.0 MPG. That's up 0.8 m.p.g. from December. That also means that drivers are spewing less CO2 on average. The University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute crunched the numbers here and found a steady decrease in CO2 emissions per driver since April 2009 and a net decrease of 14 percent since October 2007 when they began measurements.
*An earlier version of this post used November's EDI data and stated a different level of reduction in CO2 emissions.