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EPA Trends Report Shows Automakers Failed To Deliver Fuel Economy Gains Between Model Years 2020 and 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released its annual Automotive Trends Report. This report details the automakers’ compliance with EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations and NHTSA’s corporate average fuel economy regulations. 


The report found that average fuel economy remained flat at 25.4 mpg between model year 2020 and model year 2021, the latest year for which EPA has final data. It also shows that average fuel economy has only increased a total of 0.3 mpg during the past 4 years after the previous administration announced their intent to roll back fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards. That rollback was in effect for model year 2021 and remains in effect for model year 2022 for both programs, and for model year 2023 for the CAFE program. 


However, within the past year, both EPA and NHTSA finalized stronger federal standards which should result in significant improvements in fuel efficiency and reductions in emissions in coming years. Preliminary data for 2022 show fuel economy may have improved by 1 mpg this year, as automakers gear up to meet these stronger standards. 


“Our data consistently show us that consumers want more efficient vehicles that save them money,” says Chris Harto, Senior Policy Analyst at Consumer Reports. “Yet time and time again automakers refuse to deliver cost saving efficiency technology unless they are forced to do so by strong standards.”


EPA and NHTSA are expected to begin rulemakings for the next round of federal standards in 2023. Consumer Reports will work to ensure that those standards are strong, and deliver cost effective emissions reductions and consumer savings. Achieving the administration’s goal of a 60% reduction in emission from new vehicles by 2030 has the potential to save consumers over $1 trillion and eliminate 10 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions through 2050.   




Contact: David Butler, david.butler@consumer.org