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EPA says automakers ahead of schedule for 54.5 MPG by 2025

04/27/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: MPG, Legislation and Policy, USA

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Remember, the target is 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Today, the CAFE level is a little over 30. How we get from here to there is something the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is monitoring closely. Thus, the EPA just released an annual flash report on how the auto industry is progressing towards meeting the nation's fuel economy goals.

Overall, the industry is doing almost 10 grams per mile (equivalent) better than the rules require.

The good news is that the industry is a bit ahead of schedule. In the report (see page iii), the EPA breaks things down by automaker based only on MY12 numbers. Tesla is at the top of the list (which is ranked by over-compliance with 2012MY CO2 standards), but for our money, the real leader is Toyota. The Japanese automaker built the second-highest number of vehicles (2,020,248, after General Motors' 2,364,374) but racked up the most net 2012 over-compliance credits (13,163,009 metric tons). That's an average of over 6.5 metric tons per vehicle. The next closest is Honda, with just over five metric tons of credits per vehicle. Given the MPG fiasco with Hyundai and Kia, the EPA says, "we are excluding Hyundai and Kia data because of the ongoing investigation into their testing methods," but overall, the rest of the industry has credits worth 25,053,168 metric tons of CO2, which means it's doing almost 10 grams per mile (equivalent) better than the rules require. Go team.

For now, the numbers in this report (and there are a lot more of them - get the 59-page PDF for yourself here), can't really be used to understand everything from the first year of the new CAFE program. The EPA writes, "Because the program allows credits and deficits to be carried into future years, at the close of the 2012 model year no manufacturer is considered to be out of compliance with the program. ... Compliance with the 2012 model year standards can't be fully assessed until the end of the 2015 model year."

There are a more interesting tidbits in the report, such as the fact that Fisker produced 1,415 model year 2012 vehicles, Tesla made 2,952. Remember, too, that CAFE numbers don't equal the fuel economy you see in your daily drives. In the real world, the 54.5 CAFE level will be about 40 mpg, and the average fuel economy today is around 25 mpg, so we have a ways to go, no matter how you measure it.

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