EPA: Automakers Beat GHG Emissions Standards for Third Straight Year


The light-duty automotive industry has surpassed the more stringent 2014 standards for greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions while model-year (MY) 2014 fuel economy remains steady at the highest level ever recorded, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The findings were included in two reports the agency recently released: the annual report on fuel economy trends and a report on the auto industry’s progress toward meeting GHG emissions standards for cars and light-duty trucks.

The Greenhouse Gas Manufacturer Performance Report concludes that for MY 2014, manufacturers are over-complying with the GHG standards by 13 grams of CO2 per mile, or about 1.4 mpg.

The agency’s “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2015” report shows that fleet-wide MY 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.

“For the third year in a row, manufacturers have exceeded the GHG emissions standards by a wide margin,” says EPA’s director of the Office of Air Quality and Transportation, Christopher Grundler. “It’s clear that our standards are working, spurring technology and innovation, and we are on track to achieve significant greenhouse-gas reductions.”

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.

Thee agency says these standards will ultimately save U.S. families who purchase a new MY 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 GHG emissions by 6 billion metric tons, the EPA adds.

In 2012, the EPA and the U.S. Department of Transportation began implementing standards projected to double new vehicle fuel economy by 2025 and cut new-vehicle GHG emissions by half.

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 MY 2014.

According to the EPA, 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 the EPA projected when the standards were finalized.

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