US Auto Fleet Hits Fuel Efficiency Record, Concerns Remain
March 7, 2019—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday that the average fuel efficiency of cars and trucks hit a record high in the 2017 model year, but highlighted in a report “legitimate concerns” about the industry’s ability to meet rising annual requirements, reported Reuters.
For the 13 major automakers that sell vehicles in the United States, the average increase in fuel efficiency was a modest 0.2 miles per gallon (mpg) to 24.9 mpg from 24.7 mpg in 2016. Only three out of the 13 automakers met requirements without credits.
Automakers earn credits for over-complying with fuel efficiency requirements and can save them for use in future years when they face tougher standards or sell them to competitors if they do not need them, according to the report. Automakers worry that without significant changes, they will not be able to meet requirements after 2020 because many credits expire.