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Cars hit fuel economy record

November 4, 2016
Cars hit a new fuel economy record in 2015 while outperforming mandated greenhouse gas emissions limits, the Environmental Protection Agency reported Nov. 2.
Model-year 2015 cars averaged a carbon dioxide emissions standard that was 7 grams per mile higher than what the EPA required for that year, which was a 13 grams per mile improvement over the 2014 requirement.
A separate EPA report released Nov. 2 concluded that average fuel economy was 24.8 miles per gallon, 0.5 mpg higher than the previous year.
The EPA held up its reports as proof that the federal government’s efficiency and greenhouse gas standards, jointly enforced by the EPA and the Department of Transportation, are working.
"Car buyers can go to the showroom knowing that no matter what kind of vehicle they buy, it will be better for the climate — and their wallets — than ever before," Christopher Grundler, director of the EPA’s transportation office, said in a statement. "This report highlights that the industry is providing vehicles that customers want, while reaching new levels of environmental performance."
Automakers have also seen six consecutive years of sales growth, which the EPA cited as evidence that its regulations are not hurting the industry.
Some green groups cheered the EPA’s report, saying it shows that the industry will be able to handle a strengthening of the standards, as greens want the agency to do in the coming years.
The EPA reported in June that cars are unlikely to reach the 54.5 mpg efficiency goal that President Obama had boasted about for years.