WASHINGTON—Average fuel economy for new vehicles reached 24.1 miles per gallon in model year 2013, the highest in history, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The 2013 figures represented a 0.5-mpg increase over model year 2012 and an increase of nearly 5 mpg since model year 2004, the EPA said in an Oct. 8 news release.
Fuel economy has increased in eight of the last nine years, according to the EPA. Average carbon dioxide emissions also reached an all-time low in 2013, to 369 grams per miles, the agency said.
Auto makers' rapid adoption of gasoline direct-injection engines, turbochargers, advanced transmissions and other fuel-efficient technologies made rapid fuel efficiency growth possible, the EPA said in its annual fuel efficiency report.
Mazda had the best overall average fuel economy among auto makers in 2013, the agency said. Nissan achieved the greatest overall improvement in fuel economy, and SUVs achieved the greatest improvement among classes of personal vehicles, it said.
“Today's announcement points to the greatness of American ingenuity and the strength of our auto industry,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy regarding the fuel efficiency report. “Our report shows that today's vehicles are saving Americans money at the pump while emitting fewer greenhouse gases.'
The Obama administration has directed the EPA and the U.S. Department of Transportation to double fuel economy and cut vehicle emissions by half by 2025. The EPA estimates this initiative will save Americans $1.7 trillion in fuel costs and cut oil consumption by more than 2 billion barrels daily.