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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

Jan 22, 2021 - Health

Stabenow: U.S. must put pandemic relief before EV manufacturing

Photo: Axios screenshot

The U.S. needs to focus on helping people get through the coronavirus pandemic before turning to manufacturing, including electric vehicles, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said on Friday at an Axios virtual event.

What she's saying: "We've got to deal with getting our arms around the vaccine, around the pandemic with the vaccines, helping people survive. And ... then robustly reopen the economy. And certainly, clean energy, jobs, is a big part of that."

Trump political team disavows "Patriot Party" groups

Marine One carries President Trump away from the White House on Inauguration Day. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Donald Trump's still-active presidential campaign committee officially disavowed political groups affiliated with the nascent "Patriot Party" on Monday.

Why it matters: Trump briefly floated the possibility of creating a new political party to compete with the GOP — with him at the helm. But others have formed their own "Patriot Party" entities during the past week, and Trump's team wants to make clear it has nothing to do with them.