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Two research professors from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute developed an Eco-Drive Index (EDI) that estimates the average monthly environmental impact of a single driver in the United States. The value applies to newly purchased vehicles, indicating how far fuel efficiency has come since 2007.

Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle derive the monthly values from two sub-indexes: 1) the average amount of fuel used per distance driven by newly purchased vehicles and 2) the distance driven per individual driver. Cross-multiplying these two values yields the EDI. A small EDI value reflects a smaller negative environmental impact.

Monthly sales data for individual models from Automotive News is complemented with the Environmental Protection Agency’s combined fuel-economy ratings and the Federal Highway Administration’s monthly distances driven data.

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Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.