With the declining price of fuel helping slowing the trends towards more fuel efficient vehicles, the emission of greenhouse gasses from light-duty vehicles has continued to decline, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA also said in its most recent Light Duty Fuel Economy Trends report that Mazda Motor Corp. is the most fuel-efficient auto manufacturer in the U.S. With the highest fleet-wide adjusted fuel economy performance of 29.4 miles per gallon, and the lowest carbon dioxide emissions of 328, Mazda led the chart for model year 2014.
For the third consecutive year, Mazda has achieved the highest fuel efficiency of any other mainstream automotive manufacturer in the industry, without offering a hybrid or electric vehicle, noted James O’Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of Mazda’s North American Operations, who credited the company’s SkyActiv technology for the strong fuel-economy numbers.
Overall, the EPA reported that manufacturers have surpassed the more stringent 2014 standards for greenhouse gas emissions, while model year 2014 fuel economy remains steady at the highest level ever recorded. The EPA has not yet completed data collection from the 2015 model year, which ended Sept. 30.
The findings were included in two reports in the agency’s annual report on fuel economy trends and a separate report on the auto industry’s progress toward meeting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks.
The Greenhouse Gas Manufacturer Performance Report concludes that for model year 2014, manufacturers are over-complying with the GHG standards by 13 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, or about 1.4 miles per gallon.
The agency’s annual “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2015” report shows that fleet-wide model year 2014 fuel economy remained steady at the highest recorded level, 24.3 mpg, with truck fuel economy reaching a record high of 20.4 mpg label average. In the last 10 years, fuel economy has increased significantly, improving 5 mpg or 26% overall.
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“For the third year in a row, manufacturers have exceeded the GHG emissions standards by a wide margin,” said EPA’s director of the Office of Air Quality and Transportation, Christopher Grundler. “It’s clear that our standards are working, spurring technology and innovation, and we are on track to achieve significant greenhouse gas reductions.”
EPA estimates that, through 2014, the GHG emissions standards have resulted in reducing cumulative emissions by roughly 60 million metric tons of carbon dioxide – roughly the amount of GHGs emitted from electricity use from over 8 million homes in a single year.
In 2012, EPA and the Department of Transportation began implementing standards projected to double new vehicle fuel economy by 2025 and cut new vehicle GHG emissions by half. Because of this program, consumers have many more choices when shopping for vehicles with higher fuel economy and lower carbon dioxide emissions compared to just five years ago.
The Fuel Economy Trends report tracks average fuel economy of new cars and SUVs sold in the United States. While overall GHG emissions continued downward due to improvements in air conditioning and other advancements, this year’s report finds that overall fuel economy remains steady at 24.3 mpg in model year 2014. Truck fuel economy reached a record high of 20.4 mpg label average, a 0.6 mpg increase from last year and the second largest increase in 30 years.
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However, on a fleet-wide basis, this higher truck fuel economy was offset by a 5% increase in truck market share. In addition, the report finds that the market is adopting fuel-efficient technologies such as turbocharging and advanced transmissions at a faster pace than EPA projected when the standards were finalized.
EPA’s Manufacturer Performance Report assesses the automobile industry’s progress toward meeting GHG emissions standards for cars and light trucks in the 2014 model year – the third year of this 14-year program.
For model year 2014, manufacturers are over-complying with the GHG standards, which means consumers continue to buy vehicles with lower GHG emissions than required by the EPA standards. However, new reports from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute indicate that progress on fuel-economy has slowed this year for the first time since the 2008-2009 recession.
Mazda’s SkyActiv technology can be found throughout its vehicle line up including the Mazda3, Mazda6, CX-5 and in the all-new MX-5 Miata and CX-3. The Mazda CX-3 crossover utility vehicle has been rated with an EPA-estimated fuel economy as high as 29 mpg city/35 mpg highway, which positions CX-3’s fuel economy as class-leading among all 2015 and 2016 subcompact crossover utility vehicles.
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Arriving in 2016, the all-new Mazda CX-9 will feature a new SkyActiv 2.5-liter direct injection turbocharged gasoline engine. The CX-9 aims to offer customers a combination of great performance in everyday driving situations and excellent fuel economy.