Cars manufactured in the United States have become increasingly fuel efficient in the past two decades, and many people attribute that to rising gasoline prices. However, when gasoline prices declined, fuel efficiency continued to remain high with no return to the gas guzzlers. It seems that the Energy Policy and Conservation Act worked, just as Congress intended. It mandated minimum corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for all new cars sold in the United States, essentially requiring a doubling of fuel efficiency. Despite vehement industry opposition, the standards were largely met. Tables are presented showing (1) the fuel economy (miles per gallon) of cars manufactured in the United States, Japan, France, West Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom for the years 1970 through 1990 and (2) gasoline prices per gallon for the same countries and years. The data show that American cars are now almost as fuel efficient as cars sold in Japan and Europe, where fuel efficiency has always been higher. Also, the price of gasoline in the United States is considerably lower than elsewhere, lower than it was before the oil embargo of 1973, and taxes are a small proportion of the price.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 40-42
  • Serial:
    • Access
    • Issue Number: 5
    • Publisher: University of California Transportation Center (UCTC)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00719435
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-041 822
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 19 1996 12:00AM