Estimating Region-Specific Fuel Economy in the United States from Real-World Driving Cycles

Brennan Borlaug, Jacob Holden, Eric Wood, Byungho Lee, Justin Fink, Scott Agnew, Jason Lustbader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus Citations


This paper describes a method for estimating region-specific real-world light-duty vehicle fuel economy in the United States that is unique in both the size and representativeness of real-world driving that was considered, and for its ability to model regional variations in driving patterns. Over one million miles of national driving data were used to select real-world cycles representative of observed trip categories. The six cycles were compared to U.S. legislative cycles, revealing some key differences. Finally, a set of cycle weighting factors for 533 separate U.S. regions was derived from annual traffic statistics. Applying this method, it was found that regional fuel economy varies due to differences in driving patterns alone and that rural driving patterns lead to improved fuel economy (for conventional vehicles). The driving cycles and regional weighting factors described here are useful for testing and simulation studies, specifically those sensitive to regional variations in driving patterns.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 102448
Number of pages17
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-76305


  • Driving conditions
  • Driving cycle
  • Driving patterns
  • Fuel consumption
  • Fuel economy
  • Simulation


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