Gasoline prices in the United States are near historic highs but the Energy Department said the cost per mile driven has decreased as fuel economy improved.
The US Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.58 for February. That's an 11.5 percent increase compared with last year and a historic high but that doesn't translate to cost per mile driven.
The EIA said, when adjusted for inflation, it cost 23 cents to drive 1 mile in 1980. By February 2012, the cost was about 16.5 cents.
Gasoline prices by Monday reached an average of $3.92 for a gallon of regular unleaded. The EIA said gasoline prices were moving in parity with crude oil prices.
"Because crude oil is the main driver of gasoline prices, weak U.S. gasoline demand has not translated into lower costs at the pump," the agency added.
The White House in November announced a measure that requires a fuel efficiency equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon for model years 2017-25 passenger cars and trucks. Beijing in 2009 had fuel efficiency standards of 35.8 mpg while Europe requires cars by model year 2016 to get 50 mpg.