Over the past couple of years, the U.S. government has been working to slash automotive emissions in a variety of ways. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently revealed a new set of proposed emissions rules that call for a significant reduction in that regard over the coming years, a move that also aims to speed up EV adoption in the U.S. These emissions rules would require a 56 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from light-duty vehicles between the 2027 and 2032 model years, as well as a 44 percent reduction from medium-duty vehicles and stipulations for heavy-duty models as well. However, while Ford has long backed similar initiatives in Europe, a lobby group that it belongs to – the Alliance for Automotive Innovation – isn’t quite as thrilled with this particular proposal, and is currently fighting it. In the meantime, the EPA’s just-released Automotive Trends Report provides some good news pertaining to automotive emissions and other relevant areas.
According to the latest version of this annual report, new vehicle carbon dioxide emissions and fuel economy had the biggest annual improvement of the last nine years, reaching record low CO2 emissions and record high fuel economy in the 2022 model year. From the 2021-2022 model years, average fuel economy increased by 0.6 mpg, which is more than double the annual rate of improvement in fuel economy over the last decade.
Meanwhile, the average estimated real-world CO2 emission rate for all new vehicles fell by three percent last year to the lowest level ever reported. Since the 2004 model year, CO2 emissions have decreased by 27 percent and fuel economy has increased by 35 percent, while EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles helped reduce the overall average CO2 emissions from the 2022 fleet by 22 grams per mile and improved fuel economy by 1.2 mpg in the 2022 model year.
“As the United States accelerates towards a clean transportation future, today’s report highlights the historic progress made so far by the industry to reduce climate pollution and other harmful emissions,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “We are thrilled to see manufacturers continue to innovate and develop technologies in multiple vehicle categories that have led to a substantial increase in miles per gallon, passing cost savings onto families across the nation.”