EPA: US fuel consumption unchanged in 2021, emissions slightly down | News, Sports, Jobs


FILE – Traffic moves on the 110 Freeway in Los Angeles on November 22, 2022. Fuel economy for 2021 model year vehicles in the U.S. was flat from 2020 as people continued to buy less efficient trucks and SUVs, according to an annual government report released Monday, December 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, file)

DETROIT (AP) – Fuel economy for 2021 model year vehicles in the U.S. was flat from 2020 as people continued to buy less efficient trucks and SUVs, according to an annual government report released Monday.

The fleet of new vehicles achieved 25.4 miles per gallon (10.8 kilometers per liter) for the model year, while greenhouse gas emissions fell 2 grams per mile to a record low of 347, the Environmental Protection Agency said in its annual Automotive Trends Report. 2021 fuel economy follows a record from the 2020 model year.

Performance fell below fuel economy and emissions standards relaxed when Donald Trump was president. Requirements will increase more sharply starting in 2026, according to standards passed by the Biden administration.

The EPA said in a statement that all vehicle types have record-low carbon emissions, however “The market shift away from cars and towards sport utility vehicles and pickups has wiped out some of the fleet-wide benefits.”

In the 2021 model year, cars and station wagons, the most efficient vehicles, fell to 26% of U.S. new car production, well down from the 50% market share in 2013, the EPA said. SUVs accounted for a record 45% of new vehicle sales in the 2021 model year, while pickups reached 16%.

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Stellantis, the former Fiat Chrysler, had the lowest fuel economy and highest emissions of any manufacturer at 21.3 mpg (9.1 kilometers per liter) and 417 grams per mile of carbon dioxide. Tesla, which makes only electric vehicles, had the highest equivalent mileage at 121.5 mpg (51.7 kilometers per liter) and zero carbon emissions.

Nine manufacturers were above their EPA carbon emissions standard: BMW, Volkswagen, Kia, Nissan, Hyundai, General Motors, Mazda, Stellantis and Mercedes. Five were below their standards, i.e. spending less than allowed: Tesla, Subaru, Ford, Honda and Toyota. Automakers can meet the standards with credits they have accumulated or purchased from other manufacturers.

Stellantis said its presentation didn’t reflect its current or future products, and said it has since unveiled a new Jeep, which is the best-selling plug-in hybrid in the US. The company plans to bring 25 battery-electric models to the United States by 2030.

The EPA said average fuel economy in the US has increased 6.1 miles per gallon (2.6 kilometers per liter), or 32%, since the 2004 model year.

Accordingly, the gas-electric hybrid production in the 2021 model year reached a new high with 9% of all vehicles. while electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles accounted for 4% of nationwide production.

“Today’s report demonstrates the significant strides we’ve made to ensure clean air for all, while automakers continue to innovate and use more advanced technologies to reduce pollution,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.

But Dan Becker, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Safe Climate Campaign, said automakers deserve one “F” Note for the small reduction in emissions and for selling fewer electric vehicles.

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“Automakers will not reduce pollution and improve gas mileage unless strong standards force them to do so.” he said in a statement.

Preliminary data for the 2022 model year shows mileage increases to 26.4 mpg (11.2 kilometers per liter) and carbon emissions decrease to 331 grams per mile.



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