EPA’s Fuel Economy Trends Report Shows CO2 Emissions At Record Low

11.07.16 | Blog | By:

This past week, EPA released its annual fuel economy trends report, finding that:

  1. Average new vehicle CO2 emissions are at a record low, and fuel economy is at a record high for model year (MY) 2015, shown in the figure below. The final model year (MY) 2015 adjusted, real world CO2 emissions rate for all new personal vehicles is 358 g/mi, which is an 8 g/mi decrease from MY 2014 and the lowest level ever. EPA notes that both cars and trucks reached record adjusted fuel economy in MY 2015. Based on the final data through MY 2015, CO2 emissions have decreased by 103 g/mi, or 22%, since MY 2004, and fuel economy has increased by 5.5 mpg, or 28%, with an average annual improvement of about 0.5 mpg per year.


  1. Fuel economy continues to increase while weight and power have leveled off.
  2. Sport utility vehicles reached record high market share, while also achieving record low CO2 emissions and record high fuel economy (figure below).


  1. The average new vehicle footprint is relatively stable.
  2. Most manufacturers decreased CO2 emissions and improved fuel economy in MY 2015.
  3. Manufacturers continue to adopt a wide array of advanced technologies (figure below). EPA notes: “Gasoline direct injection (GDI) has achieved widespread use by many manufacturers and is projected to be used on nearly half of all vehicles in MY 2016. This is particularly impressive since GDI was used in less than 3% of vehicles as recently as MY 2008… Turbochargers, which are often used in conjunction with GDI, have also increased market share to about 22% in MY 2016, led by BMW, VW, Mercedes, and Ford. “


  1. Consumers have an increasing number of high fuel economy/ low CO2 vehicle choices.
  2. Manufacturers are producing many vehicles today that can meet or exceed future CO2 emissions targets.
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