The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 12 reported that model year 2012 vehicles achieved an all-time high fuel economy of 23.6 miles per gallon (mpg). This represents a 1.2 mpg increase over the previous year, making it the second largest annual increase in the last 30 years. Fuel economy has now increased in seven of the last eight years, according to the annual EPA reports.
EPA’s annual “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2013” attributes much of the recent improvement to the rapid adoption of more efficient technologies, such as gasoline direct injection engines, turbochargers, and advanced transmissions.
Fuel economy is expected to continue to improve under the Obama administration’s National Clean Car Program standards. The program doubles fuel economy standards by 2025 and cuts vehicle greenhouse gas emissions by half. 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. See the EPA press release and the complete report.