What Mileage Do Different Vehicles Get In America | How To Improve Fuel Efficiency

Last updated on May 13th, 2024 at 09:26 am

The average mileage per gallon of light-duty vehicles (Passenger cars, SUVs, pickups, vans, and light trucks) is 22.74 miles, compared to almost double the 44.36 mpg of motorcycles. 

different vehicles on the highway
A steady flow of semis lead the way down a busy interstate highway in Tennessee. Heat waves rising from the pavement give a nice shimmering effect to vehicles and forest behind the lead trucks. Excellent reverse copy space across both top and bottom of image.

The average driver in the United States drives around 13596 miles in a year, which is 1.98 times more than French and 2.23 times more than the Great Britain Drivers. The United States is at the top in terms of average miles per driver. 

So, if transportation is a crucial part of our daily lives, optimization will benefit our pockets and yield environmental benefits. It depends on your vehicle choice. Fuel-efficient vehicles save you a lot of money on gas and reduce pollution and emission releases, which is very helpful to the climate.  

The most recent data from the Federal Highway Administration shows that heavy-duty vehicles (Trucks: single-unit 2-axles, 6-tires or more, and trucks: combination) drive the most in a year. 

Miles Traveled By Different Vehicles

Heavy-duty vehicles have been traveling more in the United States every single year. This is because of the long commute route for commercial reasons. 

In 2022, light-duty vehicles (Passenger cars, SUVs, pickups, vans, and light trucks) traveled 5.85% fewer miles than in 2018. 

However, the number increases in cases of heavy-duty trucks, busses, and motorbikes by 0.32%, 4.80%, and 6.72%, respectively. Motorcycles achieved a significant increase of 6.72%, the highest among other types of vehicles in 2022.

2020 saw a massive drop in miles traveled by Light duty vehicles, Buses, and Motorcycles across every US state by -13.58 %, -21.41%, and -6.51%, respectively. It was because of the COVID Outbreak. 

The exceptional case of heavy-duty trucks was intriguing as they traveled 0.63% more in 2020 compared to 2019. This could be because of supply chain disorder, routing difficulties, and a surge in online shopping, all of which were present during the 2019 pandemic. 

The impact of traveling miles is proportionate to the number of gallons consumed, and the amount differs based on the vehicle type and mileage.

Gallon Consumption Of different vehicles

The gallon consumption of light-duty vehicles and heavy-duty trucks dropped by  -7.08% and -10.74%, while Buses and motorcycles consumed 3.97% and 5.36% more gallons in 2022 compared to 2018. 

A correlation between light vehicles, buses, and motorcycles can be seen in miles traveled and fuel consumption. These vehicles consume less fuel because they travel fewer miles in 2022. 

However, heavy-duty vehicles traveled more miles and consumed fewer gallons of fuel, which shows an improved fuel mileage from 2018 to 2022. 

Similar to traveled miles, the fuel consumption of buses affected the most among other vehicles in 2020; they consumed 22% fewer gallons compared to 2019. 

Few gallons of consumption does not always necessarily mean less traveling; it sometimes reflects signs of improving fuel efficiency per mile. Now, let’s find out which vehicle is the most fuel-efficient as of 2022. 

Average Mileage of different vehicles

from 2018 to 2022, registered EVs have increased by 76%. Even after electric vehicle adoption, the fuel mileage of light-duty vehicles has not improved by far, especially compared to heavy-duty truck mileage. 

In comparison to 2018, Light-duty vehicles’ mileage per gallon only improved by 1.15%, and heavy-duty trucks raised the MPGs by 9.98%.

The 9.98% improvement in gas mileage directly indicates a massive improvement in heavy-duty trucks; with this rate, the truck industry will be able to achieve mileage similar to that of light-duty vehicles while having bigger and more powerful engines.

The mileage of buses and motorcycles has been stable for years and has not seen much improvement or drop in the mileage per gallon. 

With vehicle infrastructure and engine type, other factors help improve the vehicle’s gas consumption; by following them, any driver can optimize their car’s fuel efficiency. 

Stats and Graphs of Different Vehicle Types

Light Duty Vehicles Stats

YearsMiles TraveledGallons ConsumptionMileage per Gallon

Heavy-Duty Vehicles Stats

YearsMiles TraveledGallons ConsumptionMileage per Gallon

Busses Stats

YearsMiles TraveledGallons ConsumptionMileage per Gallon

Motorcycles Stats

YearsMiles TraveledGallons ConsumptionMileage per Gallon

Factors to improve fuel efficiency

Your vehicle variant may have a better fuel consumption range than you are getting because of unguided driving behavior. Several factors can make or break gas mileage, some of them are the following: 

Tire Size and Type

Tire and wheel size plays a huge role in optimizing fuel efficiency, and larger wheels or tires than OEM sizes can cause a massive drop in your fuel average. Similarly, smaller sizes also have a negative impact on fuel mileage, which is why the optimal size is the manufacturer’s recommended size. 

Switching from conventional tires to fuel-efficient, low-rolling resistance tires is a better option when looking for new tires. They are designed to deliver higher fuel mileage and are also more comfortable. 

Tire Maintenance and pressure

Proper tire maintenance, like tire rotation, tread depth inspection, and air pressure, can also improve MPGs by more than 2-3 miles per gallon. Similarly, if the pressure is lower than recommended or the tread is in poor condition, you may lose more than 3-4 MPG. 

Car and Tire Weights

Dropping weights from your car is a big game changer in fuel consumption averages. Switching your spare wheel to a tire inflator or tire repair kit, dropping roof racks, switching to low-weight tires, all that can improve the fuel consumption of your vehicles. 

Following these practices will improve fuel efficiency and increase tire and vehicle life while releasing fewer emissions. This is why it is always a good practice to reduce the fuel requirements of your vehicle. No matter which vehicle type you drive, the point is that you optimize your vehicle as effectively to maximize the vehicle’s mileage. 

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