Green Car Congress  
Go to GCC Discussions forum About GCC Contact  RSS Subscribe Twitter headlines

« Fiat Previews the New Grande Punto | Main | Hydrogen-Station Homing on Honda FCX »

Print this post

EPA: 2005 Fuel Economy is Flat at 21 MPG

28 July 2005

Epa20051
Fuel economy for last 30 years

Despite improvements in the efficiency of technologies, model year 2005 light-duty vehicles in the US are estimated to average 21.0 mpg, eking out just a 0.2 mpg improvement over 2004, according to the EPA.

The data, published in the just-released annual report on automotive technology and fuel economy trends, highlights that fuel economy has been essentially flat for the past dozen years, although the size and power of the vehicles sold has increased dramatically.

In other words, the efficiencies of new technology are applied to creating vehicles (in an aggregate view) with roughly equivalent fuel consumption, but that are bigger and more powerful.

Epa20052
Vehicle weight in tons times fuel economy

The chart to the right (Click to enlarge) plots the ton-mpg (weight in tons times fuel economy) of vehicles since 1975.

Improvements in actual fuel economy of light-duty vehicles peaked in 1987 at a combined average 22.1 mpg, and has since declined some 5% due both to the increasing size and power of vehicles in each succeeding model year, and to the increasing mix of trucks and SUVs in the fleet.

On the basis of ton-mpg, however, improvements have been steady over the past 30 years, rising from an average 26.9 ton-mpg in 1975 to 43.2 ton-mpg in 2005. (There is also less of a gap, as you might expect, beween cars and trucks when viewed on this basis.)

Epa20053
Vehicle Weight and Acceleration

Another view of the situation comes from the next chart (at right, Click to enlarge) that plots vehicle weight and acceleration time for the model years 1975 through 2005.

Reductions in weight and power, and increases in fuel economy, all maximized in response to the series of oil crises in the 1970s and early 1980s that culminated with the Iranian revolution.

Since then, we have steadily moved back toward heavier, more powerful vehicles, although advances in vehicle and engine technology managed to maintain the baseline fuel economy gains made during the 1980s.

Objectively, that level of fuel economy is grossly inadequate, given the geopolitical, geological and environmental constraints and issues we face today.

Ironically, the report comes right when the House and Senate are voting on a consolidated version of the energy bill—a bill that makes no quantitative advances in fuel economy regulations and that neglects short-term initiatives that could substantially alter that figure.

Resources:

July 28, 2005 in Fuel Efficiency | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c4fbe53ef00d8345928c953ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference EPA: 2005 Fuel Economy is Flat at 21 MPG:

Comments

So how to change the perception that the more a vehicle approximates an Abrahms tank, the safer the riders? That's the excuse given time and time again for driving multi-ton vehicles.

Oh, yeah, and then there is the fact that our government give businesses that buy huge gas guzzling SUVs tax breaks. Yeah haven't quit figured that one out yet.

Unfortunately the neocons in control believe the global economy is founded on oil company profits. Reducing the demand for oil through price hikes is good. Reducing demand through government mandate is bad.

Is there a site that tracks production 4 & 5 passenger vehicles made in North America, China, EU, India,Japan, and Korea that get GREATER 50 MPG? If these is I have not been able to find it yet. If there is not, maybe there should be, you think?

It looks neat.

Have any of you seen the EU Ford Focus. It is a 2.1 ton FORD Focus 4 door Estate wagon, 1.6l Duratorg TDCi diesel, that gets a combined 50 mpg (US) emissions rated Euro Step IV. The only problem is that it is not available in North America. It should be noted that the domestic gasoline “green” (California) equivalent gets 26 mpg(US).
Reference:
http://www.ford.co.uk/ie/foc_c307/-/- and
http://www.fordvehicles.com/cars/focus/features/specs/#per

Sadly, we can't get this machine here. Maybe if everybody works on it maybe we will be able to get cars this economical here in the US.

I live in Germany and drive a 2001 Ford Mondeo car. This is the same platform that the Fusion is build on but it has a 2.0 liter turbo diesel. It puts out 120hp and on a recent trip I got 40 mpg! And this is not the latest and greatest on the market. But sadly rather than encourage this and hybrids we choose to pay farmers to convert valuable crop land to grow weeds to fuel horribly inefficent engines.

There is technology today to get good MPG . But it is not allowed by a government mandate. That's why we have cars coming out today with 325 hp. To be able to stay under the allowed MPG.

Ford got over 50 mpg on 3 experimental cars in the 1950's
There is a car in France that looks like a winner. There is a short video on Utube. Take a look:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmqpGZv0YT4

There is technology today to get good MPG . But it is not allowed by a government mandate. That's why we have cars coming out today with 325 hp. To be able to stay under the allowed MPG.

Ford got over 50 mpg on 3 experimental cars in the 1950's
There is a car in France that looks like a winner. There is a short video on Utube. Take a look:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmqpGZv0YT4

There is technology today to get good MPG . But it is not allowed by a government mandate. That's why we have cars coming out today with 325 hp. To be able to stay under the allowed MPG.

Ford got over 50 mpg on 3 experimental cars in the 1950's
There is a car in France that looks like a winner. There is a short video on Utube. Take a look:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmqpGZv0YT4

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Green Car Congress © 2013 BioAge Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Home | BioAge Group