The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its Automotive Trends Report. The annual report brings a bit of good news encompassing the entire industry, including record-high fuel economy ratings and record-low emission levels for 2020 model year vehicles.
According to EPA, the average fuel economy for model year 2020 vehicles has increased to 25.4 miles per gallon, 0.5 mpg more than the average for model year 2019. Meanwhile, the same vehicles recorded an average CO2 emission of as low as 349 grams per mile. This is the lowest emission level ever measured, 7 g/mi lower than the average for model year 2019.
Key highlights of the report also include a 24 percent decrease in harmful carbon dioxide emissions since model year 2004. Meanwhile, overall fuel economy has increased by 32 percent as compared to the same year.
"Today’s report is a great indicator that automakers are following through with their promise of achieving clean car standards while providing consumers with great vehicle options," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.
"I am optimistic that the innovation and marketing power of the auto industry, coupled with President Biden’s unprecedented support for a zero emissions future, will accelerate cleaner technologies, sharply cutting pollution to meet the climate challenge."
Meanwhile, EPA estimates that hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicle productions are poised to grow next year. In the projected model year 2021 data, electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles will account for 4 percent of production, while hybrids will represent 9 percent of the US vehicle population. Current numbers are at 2 percent for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, while hybrids represent 5 percent.
Of note, US President Joe Biden sets a non-binding target for EVs to account for half of all new cars sales by 2030.