There certainly has been plenty of bad emissions news in the past few months in the Automotive Industry. How about some good news? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reported that “Automakers Beat Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Third Straight Year”. Moreover, overall fuel economy continued its record high level. For those wanting to read the minutia of such reports, see “GHG Emission Standards for Light-Duty Vehicles: Manufacturer Performance Report for the 2014 Model Year” and “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 – 2015”.
Individually, every manufacturer – with the exception of Kia and Mercedes – outperformed 2014 model year standards. Of course, Volkswagen was left out of the analysis for what should be obvious reasons to anyone who would read an automotive industry blog.
Not only is this particular report encouraging, but the EPA notes that this has now occurred for the third year in a row – “by a wide margin.” Fewer emissions means fewer greenhouse gasses. Better fuel economy means less gas used, which means less spent by consumers on fuel. Pretty much a win-win for everyone outside the energy sector.
Will it continue? The gains in fuel economy are modest, but steady. The goal is to double fuel economy by 2025, which seems aggressive. While nine full years away, that is much closer in the life cycle of manufacturing than most people realize. Even the EPA notes that in the last 10 years, fuel economy has improved by five mph. Good? Sure. Enough to double it by 2025? Unlikely.