Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

EPA: Fuel Efficiency is Up, While Vehicle Emissions are Down

Photo Illustration by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images

A new EPA report says that fuel efficiency is the highest its ever been, while vehicle emissions are down.

A new report says you’re likely to be feeling less pain at the pump than in years past – and not just because gas prices are down a bit this week. Cars and trucks are getting better mileage than ever, and the air is cleaner as a result.

The new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report says that greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks are at their lowest levels in decades. Fuel economy, meanwhile, is the highest it’s ever been. The report says that in just the last five years, fuel economy went up sixteen percent. The average fuel economy these days is now 23 miles per gallon, and that’s expected to double under new federal standards by 2025. The EPA says all the advances in fuel efficiency will save the equivalent of twelve billion barrels of oil in that time frame.

What’s behind the change? The report credits a transition to fuel injection from carburetors, and even more recent advances in fuel injection technology. That’s in addition to slightly larger market for hybrid and diesel vehicles, and better mileage options overall. “There are almost 3 times more SUVs with combined labels of 25 mpg or more and 6 times more cars with ratings of 30 mpg or more,” the report says.

Today’s report comes at the same time as President Obama’s call for taking oil and gas drilling revenues to fund research into cleaner vehicles that won’t run on fossil fuels, a plan outlined in his State of the Union address in January.


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