Vehicle fuel economy reaches all-time high of 25.4 mpg in U.S.

Vehicle fuel economy reaches all-time high of 25.4 mpg in U.S.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual Automotive Trends Report, which shows that model year (MY) 2021 vehicle fuel economy remained at a record high while emission levels reached a record low. 

The report also shows all 14 large automotive manufacturers achieved compliance with the Light-duty Greenhouse Gas (GHG) standards through at least MY2020.

“Today’s report demonstrates the significant progress we’ve made to ensure clean air for all as automakers continue to innovate and utilize more advanced technologies to cut pollution,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Working together across the public and private sector, we can deliver on EPA’s mission to protect public health, especially our most vulnerable populations, and advance President Biden’s ambitious agenda to combat the climate crisis.”

The key highlights of the report are:

  • For MY 2021, vehicle fuel economy remained at an all-time high of 25.4 miles per gallon (mpg), and new vehicle real-world carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions decreased to a record low of 347 grams per mile (g/mi).
  • All vehicle types are at record low CO2 emissions; however, the market shift away from cars and towards sport utility vehicles and pickups has offset some of the fleetwide benefits.
  • Since MY 2004, average fuel economy in the U.S. has increased by 32%, or 6.1 mpg.
  • The average estimated real-world CO2 emission rate for all new vehicles fell by 2 g/mi to 347 g/mi, the lowest ever reported. 
  • Since MY 2004, CO2 emissions have decreased 25%, or by 114 g/mi. Over that time, CO2 emissions have been reduced in 14 of the past 17 years.

Overall, advancements in technology are helping industry reach these carbon reduction achievements. In model year 2021, hybrid vehicles reached a new high of 9% of all production. These vehicles can use a larger battery to recapture braking energy and provide power when necessary, allowing for a smaller, more efficiently operated engine. The combined category of electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) increased to 4% of nationwide production in MY 2021.

This annual report is part of EPA’s commitment to provide the public with information about new light-duty vehicle GHG emissions, fuel economy, technology data, and auto manufacturers’ performance in meeting the agency’s GHG emissions standards.

To read the full report, click here.