EPA says fuel efficiency on the rise

Nov. 20, 2009 at 2:38 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said automakers are reporting an increase in the average fuel economy for new vehicles.

EPA said in a news release Friday based on the 21 miles per gallon average fuel economy reported by automakers in 2008, the average is expected to increase to 21.1 mpg for 2009.

In the annual EPA report, "Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2009," EPA officials said carbon dioxide emissions for new vehicles have decreased by 8 percent, or 39 grams per mile, since 2004.

During that same time period, the average fuel economy for new vehicles increased by 9 percent, or 1.8 mpg.

"American drivers are increasingly looking for cars that burn cleaner, burn less gas and won't burn a hole in their wallets," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said.

The agency said the decreased carbon dioxide emissions and increased fuel efficiency comes after CO2 emissions increased and fuel efficiency decreased in the United States from 1987 to 2004.

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