Automakers on track to meet emissions standards

Automakers on track to meet emissions standards

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that automakers were on target to meet greenhouse gas emissions standards in MY 2012, the first year of a 14-year program. In fact, consumers bought cleaner vehicles than the standards required.

The industry reduced tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions in MY 2012 and also used the optional flexibilities built into the standards. The flexibilities allow emissions credits for improvements in air conditioning systems, and transfer of emissions credits from year to year and among manufacturers.

Fuel economy improved by 1.2 mpg from 2011 to 2012, says the EPA. A more dramatic demonstration of improvement, however, came in 2013 where there were twice as many SUVs that achieved at least 25 mpg and 7 times as many cars with 40 mpg as there were five years ago.

And in 2014, more than half of new models get more than 23 mpg, says the Consumer Federation of America. Just five years ago, only 19 percent achieved that standard. CFA chose 23 mpg as a benchmark because it is the EPA fuel economy label equivalent to the 30.6 mpg overall corporate average fuel economy requirement for 2014.

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