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NHTSA Earth Day Event Highlights Benefits of Vehicle Fuel Economy

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Points to Emissions Reductions, Fuel Savings Due to Efficiency, Alternative Fuel Vehicles

WASHINGTON In advance of Earth Day, which takes place tomorrow, the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today highlighted the Obama Administration’s leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the fuel efficiency of vehicles.  The Advanced Fuel-Efficiency Vehicle Showcase hosted by NHTSA included an array of vehicles from leading manufacturers which will save consumers money at the pump and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Thirteen auto manufacturers participated in NHTSA’s Advanced Fuel-Efficiency Vehicle Showcase – Audi, BMW, Ford, Chevrolet, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Nissan, Tesla, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

“President Obama’s leadership on climate change has driven our successes in improving vehicle fuel economy for cars, light trucks, and heavy vehicles,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “By continually pushing the envelope on fuel economy we ensure Americans have more ways to protect our planet, our health and ensure a better future for our children.”

These fuel economy standards are already delivering savings for American drivers.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent Fuel Economy Trends Report, new vehicles in 2013 achieved their highest fuel economy of all time. Model year 2013 vehicles reached an average of 24.1 miles per gallon – a 0.5-mile-per-gallon increase over the previous year and an increase of nearly 5 miles – or 25 percent – per gallon since 2004. Fuel economy has now increased in eight of the last nine years, and our average carbon emissions last year hit a record low of 369 grams per mile in model year 2013.

Joint DOT-EPA Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)/Greenhouse Gas Emission standards announced in 2010 and 2012 for cars and light trucks will lead to a near doubling in new vehicle fuel economy by 2025.  This will deliver savings of more than $8,000 in fuel costs for the average driver while eliminating six billion metric tons of greenhouse gases, which is more than the U.S. emits in an entire year.  This effort also includes incentives to encourage early adoption and introduction into the marketplace of advanced technologies to dramatically improve vehicle performance.

In 2011, NHTSA and EPA also set the first-ever national consumption and emission standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, which will help prevent 270 million metric tons of carbon pollution, along with providing a fuel cost savings of approximately $50 billion.

NHTSA worked on these rules in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, which set equivalent standards for new vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. The two agencies are now continuing this work and will finalize a new set of longer-term medium- and heavy-duty truck fuel efficiency standards in 2016.

“When it comes to cutting oil use, saving consumers money, and addressing climate change, NHTSA’s enormous responsibilities are matched only by the possibilities for positive change,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman.  “We have the opportunity to deliver on the promise of vehicles that save Americans money while enhancing national security and protecting our environment.  On Earth Day, we recommit ourselves to even greater progress on fuel economy.”

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