These two electric vehicles with a range of 500 miles topped the EPA’s fuel efficiency rankings for the first time

Two versions of the Lucid Air, delivering 500 miles of range on a single charge, are at the top of the updated guide to the most fuel-efficient vehicles.

The report and site, the 2022 Fuel Economy Guide, are consumer-oriented and published annually by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, with research from DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It broadly tracks the fuel economy of new and used vehicles, but is increasingly populated by electric vehicles.

The top 10 “fuel sippers” among the 2022 models in the guide are all-electric vehicles offering a fuel economy of at least 111 miles per gallon equivalent.

Credit: Andrew Sproles / ORNL, US Dept. of Energy

Lucid LCID,
+ 17.34%,
which has been hailed as the “Tesla / Ferrari” of electric vehicles and focuses on the high-end market, went public through a blank check deal and the stock began trading on the Nasdaq in July. Its offerings, like many electric vehicles on the market, can include long wait times and require reservations.

Read: A new Big Three? Rivian and Lucid valuations accelerate ahead of Ford, GM

Don’t miss: Ford CEO touts automaker’s electric vehicle plans: “Whatever it takes, find a way”

Vehicles on the EPA / DOE website are classified according to their size and class: compact, mid-size, small pickup, etc. Hyundai 005380,
+ 2.20%
Kona EV and the Ford F,
The Escape FWD Hybrid tops the popular small sport utility vehicle category, for example. Users of the guide can also search by brand, with the list breaking down Toyota’s 7203,
+ 0.38%
most efficient models, or do a side-by-side comparison of a Tesla Model 3 TSLA,
+ 3.71%
and a competitor of similar size.

If the most fuel-efficient vehicle by category is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or
all-electric vehicle (EV), the site also lists the most fuel-efficient conventional vehicles
vehicle. Ratings are based on combined city and highway fuel consumption estimates, which assume 55% city driving and 45% highway driving. Vehicle models are available in a range of engine sizes and trim packages, which can result in different fuel savings

The main research is electric vehicles, hybrids

The site is the most visited in the DOE, attracting more than 30 million user sessions in the 2021 model year – more than any year since 2015. The site provides consumers with information to help to guide purchasing decisions for all types of vehicles, including today’s electric vehicles. federal tax credits. Interest in electric vehicles is clearly increasing as more and more models hit the market. In fact, of the top 50 vehicles searched on in fiscal 2021, 44 were hybrids or all-electric.

Read: A “Made in America” ​​Tax Credit – What Car Buyers Considering a Tesla, Rivian, or Other Electric Vehicles Should Know As Build Back Better Goes to the Senate

The guide is also intended to be used while shopping. A fuel economy sticker on new car windows includes the same data as in the fuel economy guide, and the sticker’s QR code will display that specific vehicle with additional information on the website.

Fuel economy for many conventional gasoline vehicles also continues to increase, according to this government tracker. Four of the models on the size guide’s “best in class” car list are conventional fuel.

“Gone are the days when consumers who wanted the most fuel efficient vehicle were encouraged to drive the smallest cars available,” said Stacy Davis, who leads the and Fuel Economy Guide projects at ORNL. “Today, with advanced engines and transmissions, customers can use the guide to enter the size of car that best suits their needs. “

Standards must be stricter, according to energy group

But energy watchdogs released a separate report that tracked how well the industry was following EPA and DOE standards through 2021.

Ee The American Council for an Fuel Efficient Economy (ACEEE) said the improvement in 2021 results over recent years is growing too slowly, and this is in large part due to the size of the vehicles on offer and arguably demanded by consumers.

“We are facing a climate crisis, but automakers are producing cars that are barely more fuel efficient on average than what they sold a year earlier, even as the technology improves,” said Avi Mersky, principal researcher in transport for the ACEEE.

“They are following the letter of the standards but exploiting any weaknesses in the regulations to continue to manufacture gas guzzlers,” Mersky said. “It’s terrible for the climate and it’s costing the drivers at the pump, especially now that the prices of RB00 gasoline,

Read: Retail gasoline prices are pennies below their highest Thanksgiving price on record: report

The EPA report shows that light-duty vehicles in the 2020 model year had an average fuel economy of 25.4 miles per gallon, a 2% improvement over 2019 vehicles.

Federal standards for model year 2020 vehicles – finalized in 2012 – aimed for a 4.3% improvement over vehicles from the previous year, the ACEEE said.

A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This assumes that the average gasoline-powered vehicle on the road today has a fuel economy of about 22 miles per gallon and drives about 11,500 miles per year, according to EPA data.

The United States and other major economies have said they want to halve their total emissions by the end of the decade and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“The EPA has a critical opportunity in its ongoing update of vehicle efficiency standards to eliminate the various incentives, credit programs and multipliers that automakers inevitably exploit. The agency can learn the lesson and eliminate these “flexibilities” to ensure that the goals it now sets are actually achieved, “Mersky said.

Part of the group’s argument centers on what it calls the automaker-led shift to bigger, heavier and more expensive vehicles. Fuel standards are set by the size of the vehicle, which ACEEE says allows automakers to miss key fuel economy goals as they can switch categories.

The group wants future regulations to set a floor on year-over-year increases in average efficiency, regardless of vehicle size trends.

Automakers were divided on tightening fuel standards and some big companies reversed their position as the Trump administration sought to lower CAFE standards. This was a position taken by Trump at the behest of pro-business groups and certain automakers and fossil fuel refiners. Other manufacturers had already retooled for more efficiency, taking inspiration from customer demands and stricter state laws, especially in the primary California market.

President Biden has been pushing for a reversal of Trump’s setback and will set standards, which are expected to escalate in 2025, that will be stricter than the Obama era.

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