WASHINGTON—Total average fuel economy for model year 2012 vehicles was 23.6 miles per gallon (mpg), an all-time high since the government started measuring fuel economy, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The 23.6-mpg figure was 1.2 mpg more than model year 2011, the EPA said in its annual report tracking the fuel economy of vehicles sold in the U.S.
“The large fuel economy improvement in model year 2012 is consistent with longer-term trends,” the agency said. “Fuel economy has increased by 2.6 mpg, or 12 percent, since 2008, and by 4.3 mpg, or 22 percent, since 2004.
Currently the EPA is implementing the Obama administration's National Clear Car Program, which is designed to double fuel economy standards by model year 2025 and cut greenhouse gas emissions in half, the agency said.
When fully implemented, the National Clean Car Program standards will save American families $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, or $8,000 per vehicle, according to the EPA. It will also reduce fuel consumption by 2 million barrels a day, or half the oil imported from OPEC countries every day, it said.