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Transportation and Climate

GHG Emission Standards for Light-Duty Vehicles: Manufacturer Performance Report for the 2012 Model Year

Related Information

EPA’s Fuel Economy Trends report provides information on real world GHG emissions and fuel economy performance since model year 1975. Key statistics for model year 2012 include:

  • Nearly every manufacturer decreased GHG emissions and increased fuel economy as compared to 2011 vehicles.
  • On average, vehicles reduced GHG emissions by 22 grams per mile compared to 2011 vehicles.
  • Overall fuel economy improved by 1.2 miles per gallon over model year 2011 vehicles, the second largest increase in the past 30 years.
  • Compared to five years ago, there are now twice as many sport utility vehicles and small trucks that achieve over 25 mpg, and seven times as many cars at 40 mpg or more.

The Environmental Protection Agency (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. This report provides substantial detail on manufacturers performance in meeting the 2012 standards. EPA intends to report annually on manufacturer performance.

The GHG standards include certain flexibilities, including credit transfers across years and between fleets (within a manufacturer), credit trading between manufacturers, and credits for air conditioning improvements, which allow greater emissions reductions, lower compliance costs, and more consumer choice, as well as temporary incentives for flexible-fueled vehicles . Because the program allows credits and deficits to be carried into future years, at the close of the 2012 model year all manufacturers are considered to be in compliance with the program. Final compliance status for 2012 will not be determined until 2015.

Key findings:

  • Automakers’ overall GHG performance was, on average, 286 grams of GHG/mile, 9.8 grams of GHG/mile better than what the 2012 standards required.

  • Companies are using the optional flexibilities that allow credit transfers across years and between fleets (within a manufacturer), credit trading between manufacturers, credits for air conditioning improvements, and credits for flexible fuel vehicles.

  • Only one relatively small automaker has a negative overall credit balance at the end of model year 2012. This company is still considered to be in compliance because of the multi-year nature of this regulation.

Report and Associated Materials:

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