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American automakers are losing the race to make more fuel-efficient vehicles

An aerial view of a multi-lane highway packed with vehicles.
Cars, trucks, SUVs, and other vehicles drive in traffic on the 405 freeway through the Sepulveda Pass in Los Angeles, California, on August 25th, 2022. | Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images

The US saw record gains in fuel efficiency last year, but it still falls short of what’s needed to meet fast-approaching deadlines. Thanks to their love of large vehicles, American automakers have fallen behind their competitors when it comes to getting more miles per gallon of gas.

Real-world fuel economy in model year 2022 rose slightly to 26 miles per gallon, according to the EPA’s latest Automotive Trends Report. That’s a 0.6mpg increase from the year before, which is apparently “more than double the annual rate of improvement in fuel economy” over the past nine years, according to the EPA.

But while the agency celebrates the incremental improvement, there’s still a long way to go to reach the fuel efficiency standards the US has set…

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