Fuel Economy Trends Report Shows Americans are Saving Billions at the Pump, Science Group Finds

2013 Cars and Trucks Help Drivers Avoid Burning 1.7 Million Gallons of Gas Every Day

Published Oct 8, 2014

WASHINGTON (October 8, 2014) – The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest Fuel Economy Trends report shows that Americans are already enjoying the benefits of fuel economy and global warming emissions standards, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

The agency’s report shows that average fuel economy for cars and trucks sold in 2013 was 24.1 miles per gallon, a 7 percent improvement since 2010. According to UCS’s calculations, these 15 million new vehicles are saving drivers an average of $145 in fuel costs each year compared to 2010 models. These savings add up to $2.2 billion fewer dollars being spent on gasoline annually.

“Fuel economy standards aren’t just working, they’re creating tangible benefits for millions of drivers,” said Don Anair, deputy director of UCS’s Clean Vehicles Program.

On a daily basis, 2013 vehicles are helping Americans use 1.7 million fewer gallons of gasoline (40,000 barrels of oil). That’s equivalent to the production from 130 new onshore U.S. oil wells.

An average new vehicle will save drivers $1300 over its 15-year lifetime and burn 500 fewer gallons of gasoline than an average 2010 model. Further, over their lifetimes, 2013 vehicles will avoid more than 75 million metric tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of a year’s worth of emissions from 20 coal-fired power plants.

Looking ahead, fuel efficiency and heat-trapping emissions standards will require auto fleets to achieve an average real-world mileage of about 26 mpg by 2016.

“The automakers are taking advantage of different approaches to produce cars and trucks that go further on a gallon of gas,” Anair said. “Overall, the auto companies are on track to meet the standards, and there’s a lot more they can do to continue boosting efficiency.”

Dave Cooke, a UCS clean vehicles analyst has more on the organization’s blog, including an overview of the technology improvements automakers are using to increase efficiency.

According to UCS, increasing fuel efficiency is a critical part of a broader plan to cut projected U.S. oil consumption in half over the next 20 years.