US: EPA says mileage goals are on schedule image

According to America’s Environmental Protection Agency, the recent fuel economy increase has seen a slowdown in pace, mostly due to rising sales of large SUVs and light duty pickups.

But, the regulators say, the pace will not remain constant and should speed up again once the automakers introduce more and more powerful fuel-efficiency technologies across their lineups. According to the agency, the industrywide miles per gallon average has seen a record figure for the 2013 model year – 24.1 mpg – but the rise was at a more modest 0.5 mpg than the 1.2 mpg accounted in 2012. Based on data gathered so far, the annual Fuel Economy Trends report in 2015 could see an even smaller 0.1 mpg increase for 2014 model year vehicles.

The research is also more reliable than the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards that automakers advertise – the EPA report aims to mirror real life usage and is adjusted down from the CAFE figures.

Industry observers and analysts have now started to raise concerns that because of the average mpg increase has almost creeped to a halt and in line with rising sales of SUVs and light trucks, the industry could be missing the more demanding fuel economy standards to enter in effect from 2025.

The agency has a different opinion, though, with Chris Grundler, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, commenting that after seeing the plans laid down by the automakers, he strongly believes they will have no problems.

Via Automotive News