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RSS EPA says 24.1-mpg new car average is best-ever

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Filed under: MPG, Legislation and Policy, USA

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Well done, America. Through some combination of market forces and government regulations and advancing technology, you've managed to buy enough fuel efficient vehicles to raise the overall average for the 2013 model year to 24.1 miles per gallon - that's 0.5 mpg higher than model year 2012. It's also an all time record high.

Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator, said on a conference call with reporters that the EPA regulations have acted as a driver to reach this goal, but since it was a collaborative process, the industry has benefited from higher sales and the public benefits from cleaner vehicles.

EPA estimates show reaching 40 mpg by 2025 will be possible with only 10 percent of the new vehicle fleet being electric.

Now, you may be wondering why the EPA is celebrating a half-gallon increase to 24.1 mpg when the CAFE target for 2025 - not that far away, really - is 54.5 mpg. The first thing to remember is that the CAFE target and the number under discussion today are not the same thing. Thanks to credits for things like cleaner air conditioners in buildings (and much more), the 54.5 number will actually mean an EPA sticker value of around 40 mpg. Still, a half-gallon a year will not get us to 40 mpg in the next 12 years, but McCarthy said that the 2014 data is showing that new technologies are coming online. "These numbers are all really positive," she said.

The EPA remains confident that the 40 mpg target is reachable. For one thing, 2025 was chosen as a target date because the EPA knew it would take time to get the real gamechanging technologies that have not yet become widespread, McCarthy said. Also, the EPA's estimates show that reaching 40 mpg by 2025 will be possible with only 10 percent of the new vehicle fleet being electric. The bulk of our future improvement will come from better and better conventional gasoline engines. The new Mazda6, for example, currently meets its fuel economy targets for for model year 2019, so it is already generating credits for Mazda. Nissan was quick to issue a statement saying that it was the automaker with the largest year-over-year gain and now has a fleet-wide fuel economy rating of 26.2 mpg.

There are some technical challenges, of course, like the recently readjusted mpg numbers from Mercedes and the problems that Ford and Hyundai had with their ratings. Hyundai and Kia had a longer-than-usual 2013 model year as they were forced to lower some of their MPG numbers, which skewed the EPA's 2014 projections pretty significantly. To combat this sort of thing in the future, McCarthy said the EPA is confident in the rest of the numbers. The agency creates 1,200 labels a year and is "very sophisticated" in how it audits them, she said. "We are paying really close attention to the types of testing that people have to do," she noted. "Environmental protection is the result of writing legislation and then enforcing it."

For more, read the press releases below and then see the highlights or read the full report from the EPA.

Continue reading EPA says 24.1-mpg new car average is best-ever

EPA says 24.1-mpg new car average is best-ever originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 08 Oct 2014 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cafe fuel standards are a load of crap. What they should be doing are segment targets for the fuel mileage because if as an automaker if I make 5 ton trucks then I need to have a small car that will counter act the 8 mpg that the truck will achieve.


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