The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released an annual report that tracks the fuel economy of vehicles sold in the United States, underscoring major increases made in vehicle efficiency, reducing oil consumption, and cutting carbon emissions.
According to the report, EPA estimates that between 2007 and 2012 fuel economy values increased by 16%, while carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have decreased by 13%. In 2012 alone, the report indicates a significant one-year increase of 1.4 miles per gallon (mpg) for cars and trucks.
The 1.4-mpg improvement in 2012 is based on sales estimates provided to EPA by automakers. EPA’s projections show a reduction in CO2 emissions to 374 grams per mile and an increase in average fuel economy to 23.8 mpg. These numbers represent the largest annual improvements since EPA began reporting on fuel economy.
Fuel economy is expected to continue improving significantly under the National Clean Car Program standards. The program will cut greenhouse gas emissions, double fuel economy standards by 2025, and by 2025 reduce oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day (as much as half of the oil imported from OPEC every day).
EPA’s Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2012 report attributes the improvements to the rapid adoption of more efficient technologies, the increasing number of high fuel economy choices for consumers, and the fact that many automakers are already selling vehicles that can meet more stringent future fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards.
Compared to five years ago, consumers have twice as many hybrid and diesel vehicle choices, a growing set of plug-in electric vehicle options, and a six-fold increase in car models with combined city/highway fuel economy of 30 mpg or higher. (NACS: www.nacsonline.com)