The automobile industry is “off to a good start” in meeting greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks based on data in the 2012 model year, the first year of the 14-year program, the EPA says.
The final 2012 standard was 296 grams of GHG/mile. Automakers’ overall GHG performance was, on average, 286 grams of GHG/mile, 9.8 grams of GHG/mile below what the 2012 standards required.
The EPA projects the GHG emission standards will cut 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases over the lifetimes of vehicles sold in model years 2012-2025
The agency today released a Manufacturers Performance Report that assesses the automobile industry’s progress toward meeting GHG emissions standards. The data show that in model year 2012, the industry reduced tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions, and also used the optional flexibilities built into the standards. Those flexibilities include emissions credits for improvements in air conditioning systems, and a system that allows transfer of emissions credits from year to year, and among manufacturers. The EPA says these flexibilities allow greater emissions reductions, lower compliance costs, and provide manufacturers with options on how and when to make reductions.
The report also says consumers bought cleaner vehicles in the first year of the program than the 2012 GHG standard required.
Because of the program’s multi-year structure, the EPA will not make formal compliance determinations for the 2012 model year until 2015. The agency says it will closely track progress towards compliance and intends to issue annual manufacturers performance reports on the program.
According to EPA’s most recent Fuel Economy Trends Report, fuel economy improved by 1.2 mpg in 2012 compared to 2011, the second biggest improvement in the last 30 years.