Green Tip and Trade

Make sure your next car gets 50 MPG

Matt Berger Nov 25, 2010

If every car purchased in the U.S. over the next year got 50 MPG, total U.S. carbon emissions would be reduced by 0.3 percent.

Each year, 7.5 million cars are purchased in the U.S. If all of those new cars got at least 50 miles per gallon (which is the estimated mpg of the 2011 Prius*), drivers would save a whole lot of gas.  The average MPG of cars currently on the road is about 23.

The change might not scale up the way you would expect it to because the 7.5 million new cars are a small percentage of the total number of cars on the road (137 million passenger cars, 256 million registered vehicles). But, overtime, the percentage would go up…and up

*Do any of you Prius drivers actually get 50 MPG?

Prius hybrid vehicles leave the factory. Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.