The program is also expected to save 12 billion barrels of oil over that period and reduce oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day – as much as half of the oil imported from OPEC every day, the report stated.
The report attributed the improvements to the rapid adoption of more efficient technologies, an increasing number of high fuel economy vehicles, and the fact that many automakers are selling vehicles that can meet more stringent future fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards.
Vehicle weight and performance were two of the most important engineering parameters that help determine a vehicle's emissions and fuel economy.
The projected gains for 2012 more than made up for a slight dip in fuel economy in 2011, the reported said. Compared to five years ago, consumers have twice as many hybrid and diesel vehicle choices, a growing set of plug-in electric vehicle options, and a six-fold increase in the number of car models with combined city/highway fuel economy of 30 mpg or higher, the report stated.
The U.S. personal vehicle market is diversifying, and consumers now have a much broader range of vehicle choices with respect to fuel economy/CO2 emissions performance and powertrain technology, the report said.
The number of SUV, pickup, minivan, and van models that have combined EPA label values of 20 mpg or more have increased by 71 percent — from 38 models in 2007 to 65 models in 2012.
There are almost three times more SUVs with combined labels of 25 mpg or more and 6 times more cars with ratings of 30 mpg or more. The number of cars with at least 40-mpg labels has increased from 2 in 2007 up to 15 in 2012.