Green Vehicle Guide
Benefits of Vehicle Fuel Economy & GHG Standards
New Car Fuel Economy*
Past, Present, and Future
I thought I read we were going to hit 55 mpg by 2025?
54.5 mpg is the projected average standard that automakers must meet in 2025 in formal laboratory tests, if greenhouse gas standards are achieved exclusively through fuel economy improvements.
The fuel economy window sticker shows estimates for real-world fuel economy that are always less than that achieved on formal laboratory tests. EPA projects that the 54.5 mpg standard will lead to an average real-world fuel economy of about 40 mpg.
We've Come a Long Way
- In 1975, the average new vehicle was getting about 13 mpg
- By 1987, that number increased to 22 mpg
- From 1988 to 2004, we stalled. The average mpg fell back to 19 mpg
- Since 2005, average fuel economy has increased, reaching about 24 mpg in 2013
Where We're Headed
- In 2010 and 2012, the federal government set new fuel economy and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions rules for cars, trucks, and SUVs.
- These require fuel economy to improve each and every year, so that the average new vehicle reaches about 40 mpg by 2025
- You'll see higher fuel economy in all vehicle types and sizes. You'll have the same vehicles choices you have today, but with better fuel economy!
Why This is a Great Deal
for Car Buyers
Average new vehicle fuel economy is already improving! Automakers will offer increasingly higher fuel economy vehicles every year through 2025. While you'll pay more for new, more fuel efficient technologies, your fuel savings (due to higher fuel economy) will be much greater because you'll use less gasoline. Let's look at two examples:
Calculations are based on a future gasoline price projection of about $3.00 per gallon in 2016, slowly increasing to about $4.50 per gallon in 2050.
- You'll save even more if gasoline prices rise even further—higher fuel economy is the best insurance against higher fuel prices.
- As we use less gas, we also decrease our nation's dependency on foreign oil.
More information at Buy Green, Save Green page.
- Average Real-World New Car Fuel Economy values through 2012 are derived from new vehicle adjusted fuel economy data from EPA's Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2013. Projected fuel economy for 2013-2025 is based on the real-world values projected to be associated with meeting the new 2025 standards. See http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm and http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regs-light-duty.htm.
- For new 2016 car savings of $3000, see EPA and NHTSA Finalize Historic National Program to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Improve Fuel Economy for Cars and Trucks factsheet (PDF) (9 pp, 241K, EPA -420-F-10-014, April 2010, About PDF), page 3.
- For the lifetime savings of $10,000, see Regulatory Impact Analysis: Final Rulemaking for 2017-2025 Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (PDF) (555 pp, 8.8 MB, EPA -420-R-12-016, August 2012, About PDF), Table 7.4-10.
- For financing a new 2016 car, estimates are for the first year for the average driver. See Regulatory Impact Analysis: Final Rulemaking to Establish Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (PDF) (474 pp, 6.0 MB, EPA -420-R-10-009, April 2010, About PDF), Table 8-4: first year of ownership, increased vehicle cost and annual fuel savings divided by 12 and rounded for monthly approximation.