December 15, 2015

EPA Trends and Compliance Reports Show Importance of Strong Fuel Efficiency Standards

Statement by David Cooke, Vehicles Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

Washington (December 16, 2015)—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its trends and compliance reports for model year 2014 passenger cars and trucks today, showing how the auto industry has responded to fuel economy and emissions standards set by the Obama administration in 2010 and 2012. The reports tell a success story, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Dr. David Cooke, analyst in the Clean Vehicles program at UCS.

“Today’s EPA reports show that manufacturers are not just meeting, but exceeding, the emission standards. Manufacturers are ahead of compliance for the third year in a row, and they’re exceeding the standards by the greatest margin to date. In fact, 10 percent of new passenger cars and trucks are meeting or beating the standards for 2020, and innovative technologies continue to make new vehicles ever more efficient.

“These reports do show that consumers are often choosing larger models, like SUVs and crossovers. Fortunately, the standards are designed to benefit consumers no matter what kind of car they choose to buy, and no matter what gas prices are. Today’s trucks and SUVs are already 10 percent more fuel-efficient than they were five years ago, and they’re getting better every year.

“The fuel economy and emissions standards are working. They’ve saved Americans $27 billion at the pump to date and avoided 105 million metric tons of global warming emissions while offering consumers fuel-efficient options across all vehicle classes. We need to reduce emissions and get on a path to cutting projected US oil use in half over the next 20 years.  Federal efficiency standards are a vital part of that effort.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.