WASHINGTON -- It has been two years since the Obama administration put the finishing touches on rules requiring cars and light trucks to average 54.5 mpg by the 2025 model year.
The standards only get stricter from here, but so far, automakers appear to be on track, according to a dense, 59-page document that the EPA released last month.
It was the agency's first "performance report" on the fuel economy standards, and it answered two main questions about the program:
- How many "credits" do automakers have in total?
EPA credits are the currency of President Barack Obama's fuel economy program. Each credit earned represents one metric ton of carbon dioxide kept out of the atmosphere.
Some companies are poor. Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are staggeringly rich.
Automakers racked up credits before the program took effect because the EPA decided they deserved a reward for selling efficient cars before the law required it. Toyota and Honda benefited most and held a combined 136.7 million credits at the beginning of the 2013 model year -- 60 percent of whole industry's pot of credits.