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US fuel economy flat in 2021, emissions down slightly, new EPA report shows

The fuel economy of 2021 model year vehicles in the United States has remained flat compared to 2020 as people continue to buy less efficient trucks and SUVs, according to an annual government report released Monday.

The new-vehicle fleet clocked 25.4 miles per gallon (10.8 kilometers per liter) for the model year, while greenhouse gas emissions fell 2 grams per mile to a record low of 347, the Environmental Protection Agency said in its annual Automotive Trends Report. The 2021 fuel economy figure equals a record set for the 2020 model year.

The performance fell under fuel economy and emissions standards that were relaxed when Donald Trump was president. The requirements will begin to increase at a higher rate in 2026 under standards adopted by the Biden administration.

The EPA said in a statement that all types of vehicles have record carbon dioxide emissions, but “the shift in the car market toward sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks has offset some of the scale benefits of the fleet”.

In the 2021 model year, cars and station wagons, the most efficient vehicles, fell to 26% of new vehicle production in the United States, well below the market share of 50% in 2013 , said the EPA. SUVs accounted for a record 45% of new vehicle sales for the 2021 model year, while pickup trucks reached 16%.

Stellantis, the former Fiat Chrysler, had the lowest fuel consumption and highest emissions of any manufacturer at 21.3 mpg (9.1 kilometers per liter) and 417 grams per mile of carbon dioxide. Tesla, which only makes electric vehicles, had the highest equivalent mileage at 121.5 mpg (51.7 kilometers per liter) and zero carbon dioxide emissions.

Nine manufacturers were above their EPA carbon dioxide emissions standard: BMW, Volkswagen, Kia, Nissan, Hyundai, General Motors, Mazda, Stellantis and Mercedes. Five were below their standards, meaning they emitted less than allowed: Tesla, Subaru, Ford, Honda and Toyota. Car manufacturers can meet the standards with credits they have accumulated or purchased from other manufacturers.

The EPA said that since the 2004 model year, average fuel consumption in the United States has increased by 6.1 miles per gallon (2.6 kilometers per liter), or 32%.

He said gas-electric hybrid production reached a new high of 9% of all vehicles in the 2021 model year, while electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles accounted for 4% of production. national.


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