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Reproduced from: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Chart: Axios Visuals

Pricing is one reason why wringing carbon emissions out of transportation is hard: Automakers have incentives to sell lots of big vehicles that don't get very good mileage. And they're what consumers want.

The big picture: The average price for new light trucks, a category that includes pickups and SUVs, was 43% higher in 2019 than the average for cars, per this new Energy Department analysis of Commerce data.

  • The chart shows average base prices in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Why it matters: Recently released EPA data shows that the average fuel economy of vehicles sold in the U.S. actually declined slightly in model year 2019.

  • That's because while all types of new vehicles are getting more efficient over time, bigger models' increased share of the sales mix is a brake on the fleetwide gains.

What we're watching: The incoming Biden administration will look to mandate steep increases in fuel economy.

  • The Trump administration scuttled Obama-era rules and instead will require much smaller increases through the mid-2020s than the prior mandates.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Electric vehicle sales far surpass pandemic expectations

Data: EIA; Note: 2020 figures are preliminary; Chart: Axios Visuals

New International Energy Agency preliminary data shows that worldwide sales grew by an estimated 40% last year, exceeding the agency's expectations.

Why it matters: The increase occurred despite a drop on overall global vehicle sales.

2 hours ago - Technology

TikTok drives new nostalgia economy

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Older brands, trends and technologies are making a comeback as younger consumers desperately chase slower, less chaotic times.

The big picture: TikTok's algorithm makes it easy for flashback items to resurface and quickly go viral both on its platform and eventually on other social networks.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.