Fuel economy shot up in 2012, EPA says

  • 17-Mar-2013 09:39 EDT

Overall vehicle fuel economy in the U.S. improved by 16% between 2007 and 2012, according to a recently released annual report (based on preliminary data) by the U.S. EPA. Fuel economy from 2011 to 2012 improved by 1.4 mpg to 23.8 mpg and CO2 emissions fell to 2.0 g/mi to 374 g/mi—in both cases the largest annual improvement since EPA began reporting on fuel economy in 1975. The report, “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2012,” covers cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles. It attributes the improvements in 2012 partially to skewed figures from 2011 resulting from the nuclear disaster in Japan that affected car and car-part production. But it also credits the 2012 improvement 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 the number of car models with combined city/highway fuel economy of 30 mpg or higher."

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