You’ve no doubt come across this before, but it’s worth repeating whenever someone does a story on the American auto fleet’s fuel economy:
The New York Times reports that “the average fuel economy in 2009 model cars, vans, pickups and S.U.V.’s was 22.4 miles per gallon — an increase of 7 percent, or 1.4 miles per gallon, over 2008 figures.” Environmentalists, we are told, hailed the news.
Which means the fleet average is now just 2.6 mpg shy of what the Ford Model T achieved 102 years ago. The good news is that embarrassing record is for lack of trying. If we’re lucky, the Volt and Leaf are just the beginning of a new era.