The EPA released a Manufacturers Performance Report that assesses the automobile industry’s progress toward meeting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards. The automobile industry is “off to a good start,” the EPA reported, in meeting those standards for cars and light trucks based on the data in the 2012 model year, the first year of the 14-year program.
The final 2012 standard was 296 grams of greenhouse gas/mile. Automakers’ overall GHG performance was, on average, 286 grams of GHG/mile, which is 9.8 grams of GHG/mile below what the 2012 standards required. The EPA projects the GHG emission standards will cut 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases over the lifetimes of vehicles sold in model years 2012-2025.
The data from the report shows that in a model year 2012, the industry reduced tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions, and also used the optional flexibilities built into the standards. The report also shows that consumers bought cleaner vehicles in the first year of the program than the 2012 GHG standard required.
The program has a multi-year structure, so the EPA will not make formal compliance determinations for the 2012 model year until 2015. The agency says it will closely track progress towards greenhouse gas emissions compliance and intends to issue annual manufacturers performance reports on the program.
It’s so good to see progress, even if just a tiny bit at a time. If we can continue, and speed up, this progress, we might even save the earth from ourselves. Wouldn’t that be nice?