U.S. Auto Sales Point to Continued Demand for High-Quality, Low-Cost Biodiesel
The year 2014 was a watershed for U.S. fuel economy. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that average countrywide fuel economy for passenger vehicles increased to a record 54.9 mpg in 2014. This represents one of the largest jumps in average fuel economy since the Energy Information Administration began tracking the U.S. in 2002.
As recently as a decade ago, fuel economy for passenger cars ranged from a low of 36.7 mpg in 2009 to a high of 57.2 mpg in 2012. Fuel economy for passenger cars has been rising steadily, reaching a record 54.9 mpg in 2014.
In spite of the record-setting year in fuel economy for passenger cars, growth in the U.S. is expected to be moderate in 2015. The Energy Information Administration projects average fuel economy for passenger cars in 2015 to remain in the high 40 mpg range.
In addition to the record-setting year in fuel economy for passenger cars, sales of new vehicles were very strong in 2014.
As recently as a decade ago, vehicles with fuel-efficient engines were a relatively scarce commodity. Today, every year there are more models available on the market.
There are many factors that may contribute to the strong demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. Some of these factors include the increasing percentage of vehicles with low or no emissions or hybrids, the increasing percentage of vehicles with electronic throttle control, improvements in hybrid technology, the proliferation of alternative-fuel vehicles with higher fuel efficiencies, and finally, the rising cost of fuel.
Many consumer groups have expressed concerns with fuel-economy standards, arguing that there is room for improvement in standards. The National dropped its long-standing opposition to using greenhouse-gas emission reductions as a policy tool for fuel economy in February 2015. Fuel efficient vehicles will not be reduced unless there is a market for them.
In addition to lower gas prices, the strong demand for low-emissions vehicles is the result of the rising price of oil over the past few years. Prices were high in the beginning of the decade, but have been dropping over the past few years.
The demand for lower-emissions vehicles is a combination of an increase in the