|WASHINGTON – The EPA released its annual report today (March 15, 2013) that tracks the fuel economy of vehicles sold in the United States, underscoring the major increases made in the efficiency of the vehicles Americans drive, reducing oil consumption and cutting carbon emissions. According to the report, EPA estimates that between 2007 and 2012 fuel economy values increased by 16 percent while carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have decreased by 13 percent, and in 2012 alone the report indicates a significant one year increase of 1.4 miles per gallon (mpg) for cars and trucks.
“Today’s report shows that we are making strides toward saving families money at the pump, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cleaning up the air we breathe,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “The historic steps taken by the Obama administration to improve fuel economy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil are accelerating this progress, will spur economic growth and will create high-quality domestic jobs in cutting edge industries across America.”
The expected 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 Obama administration’s historic National Clean Car Program standards. The program cuts greenhouse gas emissions and would double fuel economy standards by 2025. The standards will save American families $1.7 trillion dollars in fuel costs, and by 2025 will result in an average fuel savings of more than $8,000 per vehicle. The program will also save 12 billion barrels of oil, and by 2025 will 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 annual “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2012” 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. The report indicates that the projected gains for 2012 more than make up for a slight dip in fuel economy in 2011.
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 the number of car models with combined city/highway fuel economy of 30 mpg or higher.
Based on data supplied by automakers these 2012 models top the lists for fuel economy, averaging both city and highway use) in their respected classes: Daimler Smart for two - cabriolet and coupe (two-seater); Toyota iQ (mini compact); Ford Fiesta SFE FWD (subcompact); Toyota PRIUS c (compact); Toyota PRIUS (midsize); Hyundai SONATA (large sedan); VW JETTA SPORTWAGEN (small wagon); Toyota PRIUS v (midsize wagon); Ford ESCAPE HYBRID FWD (midsize non-truck SUV); GM EQUINOX FWD (large non-truck SUV); Ford TRANSIT CONNECT WAGON FWD (midsize van); GM G1500 SAVANA 2WD CARGO (large van); Ford ESCAPE HYBRID AWD ((midsize truck SUV); Honda CROSSTOUR 2WD (large truck SUV); GM COLORADO 2WD (midsize pickup) and GMC15 SIERRA 2WD HYBRID (large pickup). The full new report may be found here.