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Regulations for Emissions from Vehicles and Engines

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Standards for Light-Duty Vehicles: Manufacturer Performance Report

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EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly established a National Program consisting of standards for light-duty vehicles that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel economy.

EPA’s GHG rules for light-duty vehicles require compliance with progressively more stringent GHG emission standards for the 2012 through 2025 model years.

The annual GHG Performance Report formally documents the status of auto company compliance with the GHG standards since the standards took effect in the 2012 model year.

This annual report provides substantial detail on manufacturers’ performance in meeting the standards.
  • All data are based on annual production volumes of passenger cars and light trucks reported to EPA.
  • The report includes detailed information on compliance, including the manufacturers’ use of credits and credit transactions.
  • The report maintains transparency, allowing the public to monitor implementation and progress.

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Key Findings

1. The auto industry generated a GHG deficit in the 2016 model year, but all major manufacturers comply with 2016 standards, with some companies using credits from prior years.

Overall industry performance in model year 2016 was 9 g/mi higher than required by the 2016 GHG emissions standard. This makes 2016 the first model year in which the industry generated a GHG emissions deficit, after generating credits in each of the first four years of EPA’s program. The increases in stringency in the standards in the 2015 and 2016 model years were the largest increases in the first phase of EPA’s GHG program; since the 2014 model year the standards have decreased by 24 g/mi. The standards were intentionally structured with this progression of increasing stringency, as explained in the rulemaking. A contributing factor to the 9 gram/mile industry-wide gap between performance and the standard in the 2016 model year was the expiration of flexible fuel vehicle credits. Due to the credits accumulated in the previous four years, some of which were used to offset the 2016 deficit, the industry as a whole does not face any non-compliance issues in the 2016 model year.  See Section 3 for more detail on these values. 

Bar graph showing the difference between the actual industry compliance and the standard in grams per mile.

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2. Eight out of the thirteen largest manufacturers generated deficits relative to their 2016 model year standards, but used credits from previous model years to comply.

Unlike the previous four years, in which generating credits was the norm, most large manufacturers (with sales greater than 150,000 vehicles) generated deficits in the 2016 model year. Five of the thirteen manufacturers reported beating their standard, with compliance margins ranging from 16 g/mi (Honda) to 1 g/mi (Hyundai). The remaining eight generated deficits against their standard due to fleet GHG emissions that were higher than the standard by amounts ranging from 10 g/mi (Toyota) to 28 g/mi (FCA). Note that the figure below does not include the impact of credit transfers reported from prior model years (within a company) or reported credit trades (transactions between companies), and thus does not portray whether or not a manufacturer has complied with the 2016 model year standards. In fact, the manufacturers that generated a 2016 model year GHG deficit have reported sufficient credits available from prior model years to be able to offset that deficit and thus achieve compliance with their respective 2016 model year standards. More detail about model year 2016 performance is provided in Section 3.

Compliance standards vs. actual values for 2016 are listed for every manufacturer, from highest to lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) standard in grams per mile.

* Volkswagen and FCA are subjects of an ongoing investigation and/or corrective actions. These data are based on initial certification data provided to EPA, and are included in industry-wide, “Fleet Total”, or “All” values. Should the investigation and corrective actions yield different CO2 data, any relevant changes will be used in future reports.

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3. All large manufacturers concluded Phase 1 of EPA’s GHG standards meeting the standards and with substantial credits available to use through 2021.

The majority of manufacturers, representing 99 percent of 2016 model year U.S. sales, have reported compliance with the standards for the 2012-2016 model years. In fact, 19 of 21 manufacturers are reporting a non-negative credit balance going into the 2017 model year, meaning that these manufacturers have met the standards in all of the 2012-2016 model years (credits cannot be carried forward if a deficit exists in a prior model year). Manufacturers are allowed to carry deficits forward for three model years. Thus, a manufacturer with a deficit from the 2016 model year (such as Volvo) must offset that deficit by the end of the 2019 model year, or be subject to possible enforcement action. All manufacturers that initially reported a deficit in the 2012-2013 model years have successfully offset that deficit, thus no manufacturer is in a position of non-compliance for any model year at the end of the 2016 model year. The makeup of these credit and deficit balances is tracked by model year “vintage” as explained in Section 5. 

Credit Balances at Conclusion of the 2016 Model Year (Mg)1
(including credit transfers & trades) 2


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2016 Model Year Report

The 2016 model year report, available above, contains updated data for previous model years as well and supersedes all previous versions of the report. The 2016 model year report is available for reference only.

2015 Model Year Report

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