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Expand chart
Data: Global Fuel Economy Initiative/IEA; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

A new(ish) analysis shows that "fuel economy progress is stalling" amid the growing global popularity of SUVs and light trucks.

Driving the news: The joint report from the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) and the International Energy Agency takes stock of where things stand through 2019, the last year with comparative data.

What they're saying: "The average rated fuel consumption of new light-duty vehicles fell by only 0.9% between 2017 and 2019...to 7.1 litres of gasoline equivalent per 100 kilometres," the report notes. That's far below the 1.8% annual average decline between 2010 and 2015.

  • It's nowhere near the pace needed for GFEI's goal of cutting the fuel consumption of new light-duty vehicles in half by 2030, relative to 2005 levels.
  • The group is a partnership between the United Nations, International Council on Clean Transportation and others.
  • The intrigue: "Increasing vehicle size and power has eroded as much as 40% of the fuel consumption improvements that would otherwise have occurred thanks to technical advances in vehicles and engines."

The big picture: Getting on a better fuel consumption path requires stronger electric vehicle deployment policies, but also faster adoption of advanced efficiency tech for internal combustion engines.

  • The report lays out ideas in areas like policy design for efficiency and CO2 standards, phasing out fuel subsidies, harmonizing standards across nations to lower costs and more.

Go deeper: Energy efficiency gains are too slow for a sustainable climate path

Go deeper

Updated Nov 27, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Pity the "green" car buyer

Expand chart
Data: IHS Markit Data; Note: Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Americans are more open than ever to trading in their gas cars for electrified vehicles — but they're flummoxed by the confusing array of green options arriving in showrooms.

Why it matters: Getting up to speed on the differences among hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles will be a challenge for car buyers — and salespeople, too — as we transition away from gas-powered vehicles over the next decade.

Updated 50 mins ago - Health

Massage, facial, pedicure... intravenous drip?

A salon on the Upper East Side of New York that offers IV drip therapies. Photo: Jennifer A. Kingson/Axios

IV drips — the kind you might get if you're rushed to the hospital — are trending as a spa treatment, thanks in part to endorsements by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Madonna.

Why it matters: Like other "wellness" trends with a whiff of medical imprimatur, IV nutrient drips can be harmless or mildly restorative — or go awry, particularly in the wrong hands.

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

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