The EPA recently released its 2012 report on light duty automotive technology, CO2 emissions, and fuel efficiency. New to the report this year, due to the ever increasing selection of EVs, HEVs, and PHEVs, is Section VIII titled Alternative Fuel Vehicle Trends. In addition to this section, the report covered several interesting topics related to emissions and fuel efficiency.
The first topic that caught my attention is the impact future CO2 emission requirements will have on internal combustion engine vehicles. The only vehicles today that can meet these requirements are HEVs, EVs, and PHEVs. No diesel or gasoline engines are capable of meeting the 2025 CO2 emission standards. This provides a pretty clear indication on where the industry will be investing their resources.
The second topic of interest was the increase in the number of alternative fuel vehicles available to consumers. The competitive landscape from this perspective has changed considerably from model year (MY) 2007 to MY 2012. Hybrids continue to be the leader but several new technology alternatives are appearing in the line-up and starting to take hold.
The last topic of interest is related to the trend in fuel efficiency and thus CO2 emissions. These two are inextricably tied together for internal combustion engines, as CO2 is a byproduct of combustion. The good news is that auto manufacturers are trending in the right direction and continue to improve their fuel efficiency and their emissions.
Check out the full report for other interesting trends and facts related to the 2012 model year and future technology.