Automakers are racing to build the cars of tomorrow today. They’re delivering cars that are cleaner and greener, meeting higher standards for fuel efficiency and tailpipe emissions. The Obama administration has tightened vehicle standards to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and move the United States toward a clean-energy economy.

(State Dept./J. McCann)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced manufacturers’ progress in March:

  • Model year 2013 vehicles  achieved a record-high average fuel economy rating of 10.25 kilometers per liter (24.1 miles per gallon) — a 0.2 km/liter (0.5 mpg) increase over the 2012 model year.

  • From 2004 to 2013, new vehicles on U.S. roads improved their fuel efficiency by about 2 km/liter (5 mpg).

  • The number of auto models with fuel economy as high as 12.75 km/liter (30 mpg) has tripled since 2008.

  • The fleet of higher-efficiency vehicles taking to the road in vehicles manufactured from 2012 to 2025 is expected to save 12 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles.

  • In that same time frame, the cleaner fleet will produce 6 billion fewer metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions than those produced under the old standards.

  • For the second consecutive year, the automotive industry produced vehicles that exceeded the national emissions requirements by a wide margin.

“These findings are a terrific early success story for President Obama’s historic effort to reduce the pollution that contributes to climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

The website helps consumers make energy-smart decisions with a full tank of information about fuel efficiency for a range of vehicle makes and models.