2022 Sees Record High Fuel Economy in U.S. Vehicles as EV Sales Soar

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Record-Breaking Fuel Economy: U.S. new vehicles achieved a historic high for fuel economy in 2022, registering an average of 26 miles per gallon, the most significant improvement in nine years. This notable achievement resulted from a 0.2 kp/l increase over 2021.

Impact of Electric Vehicles: Electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid EVs played a crucial role, contributing a 0.5 kp/l improvement to the average fuel economy in 2022. This indicates the growing influence of eco-friendly vehicles in the automotive landscape.

Fuel Economy Forecast for 2023: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) predicts a further increase in fuel economy, reaching 26.9 miles per gallon in 2023. This forecast underscores the industry’s commitment to reducing climate pollution and harmful emissions.

Credit Transactions Among Automakers: The report revealed notable transactions involving emissions credits, with Tesla selling additional credits and General Motors and Mercedes-Benz making credit purchases in 2022. Such credit transactions play a role in helping automakers meet regulatory requirements.

Performance of Major Automakers: Stellantis, GM, and Ford exhibited lower fuel economy compared to their counterparts, with Tesla, Hyundai, and Honda leading in efficiency. The report highlighted records in horsepower, vehicle weight, and size, with projections indicating further increases in 2023.

Shift in Vehicle Preferences: The data showcased a continued shift in consumer preferences, with sedans and wagons comprising only 27% of vehicle sales in 2022, while SUVs surged to 54%. This trend reflects the evolving landscape of the automotive market.

Concerns About Gas-Powered Vehicles: Despite progress in fuel economy, the report raised concerns about gas-powered vehicles’ emissions, which have seen minimal improvement since 2015. The industry is urged to intensify efforts in reducing emissions from conventional gasoline vehicles.

EPA’s Proposed Emissions Cuts: The EPA’s proposed emissions cuts for new vehicles through 2032 aim for a 56% reduction in fleet average emissions over 2026 requirements. This proposal emphasizes a transition toward electric vehicles, with a target of 67% of new vehicles being electric by 2032.

Calls for Stricter Regulations: Advocates, such as the Center for Biological Diversity’s Safe Climate Transport Campaign, urge the EPA to finalize even tougher emission reduction rules. However, automakers and the United Auto Workers union seek adjustments to the EPA’s proposed regulations.

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