U.S. fuel economy shows biggest gain since 1975

EPA: Up 1.4 MPG fleet-wide to 23.8 MPG in 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its 2012 annual report on fuel economy for vehicles sold in the United States, and the results show that we're making some progress: "According to the report, EPA estimates that between 2007 and 2012 fuel economy values increased by 16 percent while carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have decreased by 13 percent, and in 2012 alone the report indicates a significant one year increase of 1.4 miles per gallon (mpg) for cars and trucks. [...] EPA’s projections show a reduction in CO2 emissions to 374 grams per mile and an increase in average fuel economy to 23.8 mpg."

That 1.4 MPG might now sound like much, but it's actually the biggest gain since the EPA has started tracking fuel economy in 1975.

Miles driven graph

And progress has continued in 2013 (at least so far), with January hitting a record 24.5 MPG according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Combine that with a reduction in total miles driven, and we're starting to get somewhere.

What we need is better bike and transit infrastructure so that cars are only used when truly needed and not for things like urban commuting, and the cars that remain should be as green as possible, ideally electric and powered from clean electricity sources.


See also: New Vehicle Average Fuel Economy Reaches Record 24.5 MPG in January 2013

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