Automakers Beat Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Third Straight Year; Fuel Economy Steady at Highest Level Ever Recorded
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that manufacturers have surpassed the more stringent 2014 standards for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while model year 2014 fuel economy remains steady at the highest level ever recorded. The findings were included in two reports: the annual report on fuel economy trends and a report on the automotive industry’s progress toward meeting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks.
The EPA estimates that, through 2014, the GHG emissions standards have resulted in reducing cumulative emissions by roughly 60 million metric tons of CO2, roughly the amount of GHGs emitted from electricity use from over 8 million homes in one year. These standards will ultimately save American families who purchase a new model year 2025 vehicle more than $8,000 in lifetime fuel costs. The program in total will save Americans $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, will reduce U.S. fuel use by 12 billion barrels of oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons.
In 2012, the EPA and the Department of Transportation began implementing standards projected to double new vehicle fuel economy by 2025 and cut new vehicle GHG emissions by half. Because of this program, consumers have many more choices when shopping for vehicles with higher fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions compared to just five years ago.
“For the third year in a row, manufacturers have exceeded the GHG emissions standards by a wide margin,” said Christopher Grundler, director of the Office of Air Quality and Transportation. “It’s clear that our standards are working, spurring technology and innovation, and we are on track to achieve significant greenhouse gas reductions.”
The “Greenhouse Gas Manufacturer Performance Report” concluded that for model year 2014, manufacturers are over-complying with the GHG standards by 13 grams of CO2 per mile, or about 1.4 miles per gallon (mpg). The agency’s annual “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2015” report showed that fleet-wide model year 2014 fuel economy remained steady at the highest recorded level, 24.3 mpg, with truck fuel economy reaching a record high of 20.4 mpg label average. In the last 10 years, fuel economy has increased significantly, improving 5 mpg or 26% overall.
The “Fuel Economy Trends” report tracks average fuel economy of new cars and SUVs sold in the U.S. While overall GHG emissions continued downward due to improvements in air conditioning and other advancements, this year’s report finds that overall fuel economy remains steady at 24.3 mpg in model year 2014. Truck fuel economy reached a record high of 20.4 mpg label average, a 0.6 mpg increase from last year and the second largest increase in 30 years. However, on a fleet-wide basis, this higher truck fuel economy was offset by a 5% increase in truck market share. In addition, the report finds that the market is adopting fuel-efficient technologies such as turbocharging and advanced transmissions at a faster pace than EPA projected when the standards were finalized.
The EPA’s “Manufacturer Performance Report” assesses the automob ile industry’s progress toward meeting GHG emissions standards for cars and light trucks in the 2014 model year—the third year of this 14-year program. For model year 2014, manufacturers are over-complying with the GHG standards, which means consumers continue to buy vehicles with lower GHG emissions than required by the EPA standards.
For more information, visit http://epa.gov.