Average fuel economy hit record in 2013 — EPA

Source: By Sean Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 9, 2014

Average vehicle fuel economy reached a record 24.1 mpg for the 2013 fleet, up 0.5 mpg from the preceding year, U.S. EPA said this afternoon.

In a news release, EPA attributed the improvement to automakers’ “rapid adoption” of turbochargers and other innovations. Among individual manufacturers, Nissan led both in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and in average fuel economy improvement.

“We are thrilled to see that manufacturers continue to innovate and are bringing technologies to improve fuel economy online even faster than anticipated,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in the release. “Consumers now have many more choices when shopping for vehicles with higher fuel economy and lower emissions compared to just five years ago.”

EPA released the data in connection with its latest report on trends in fuel efficiency, carbon dioxide and automotive technology for cars and light trucks.

Taking a more critical view was Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign, an environmental advocacy group.

The figures cited by EPA reflected standard discounting of actual test data, Becker said in a phone interview.

According to the test data, fuel economy for the 2013 fleet was 30.6 mpg, Becker said, and is projected to rise slightly to 30.7 mpg for 2014 cars and light trucks.

In a separate news release, he said, “Automakers should be embarrassed to put in such an appalling, flat-line performance, especially on the president’s signature environmental achievement.”