A 1.4 mpg increase in fuel economy for 2012 model cars, SUVs and light-duty pickups represents one of the largest annual improvements in car and light-truck fuel efficiency since the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has been issuing reports.
The increase is the result of automakers producing more fuel-efficient cars than ever before. The EPA says that compared to five years ago, the number of car models that get 30 mpg for combined city and highway driving has increased six-fold, and there are double the number of hybrid and clean diesel cars available.
Further gains are likely
According to the latest EPA report, car fuel economy will continue improving over the next 12 years under a planned doubling of fuel-efficiency standards. As a result, Americans will be expected to save more than $8,000 per vehicle, on average, by 2025. The fuel-economy improvements will also result in reducing America’s dependence on oil by more than two million barrels a day -- as much as half the oil imported from OPEC daily.
To learn how to save money on fuel costs right now, read "Tune up your driving to save on gas."
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.