Washington, DC—The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released the following statement from Avi Mersky, senior transportation researcher, in response to the 2022 Automotive Trends Report published today by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
“The bottom line is fleetwide fuel economy didn’t improve. That’s bad news for drivers at the pump and for the climate.
“Some models got more efficient, but with the automakers marketing large SUVs so heavily, they’re taking up more and more market share. The manufacturers are canceling out all the efficiency progress as they sell more large vehicles. And it’s completely allowed under the federal rules.
“There’s another problem, too: Nearly all automakers used emissions credits from earlier years in the program to undershoot this year’s fuel economy target.
“The EPA is going to need to learn from the lack of progress here and tackle the relentless upsizing of vehicles and rampant use of credits in its next standards.”
Today’s EPA report shows that 2021 model year light-duty vehicles had an average fuel economy of 25.4 miles per gallon, matching 2020 vehicles. Federal standards finalized in 2012 for 2021 model year vehicles had targeted a 7.2% fleetwide improvement over the previous year’s vehicles. But those standards were weakened by the Trump administration’s SAFE rule, which targeted 1.5% progress for 2021 vehicles—which manufacturers did not meet, according to the EPA report.