The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revealed that the U.S. vehicle fleet’s average fuel efficiency through the 2019 model year fell to 24.9 miles per gallon.
Average fuel economy of the U.S. fleet dropped by 0.2 mpg with the EPA adding that fuel economy and emissions have improved in 12 out of the 15 years since the 2004 model year vehicle fleet average was sitting at 19.3 mpg.
The greater adoption of SUVs and crossovers is understood to be the key reason for the worsening fuel economy figures. Reuters reports that in 2019, 44 per cent of private vehicles sold were cars while 56 per cent of them were light-duty trucks, including SUVs. The EPA added that average weight and horsepower of the fleet hit records for the 2019 model year and are expected to rise again in 2020.
The EPA has also announced specifics related to car manufacturers buying and selling credits in order to meet emissions standards. Most notably, Tesla sold 39.8 million megagrams in credits while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles purchased 82.1 million credits. Toyota also sold 33.8 million credits throughout 2019 while Honda sold 40 million credits. GM, BMW, and Daimler purchased 10.7 million, 5.5 million, and 12.2 million credits respectively.
EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said the report “shows in detail how few auto manufactures were able to meet the unrealistic emissions standards set by the Obama Administration without resorting to purchasing emission credits.”