WASHINGTON -- Don't read too much into the slowdown in fuel economy gains, regulators say. The pace should quicken again with the spread of more potent gas-saving technologies.
The industrywide average hit a record 24.1 mpg in the 2013 model year, up 0.5 mpg but rising less than the 1.2 mpg increase the previous year, according to the EPA's annual Fuel Economy Trends report issued last week. The agency forecasts just a 0.1 mpg gain for 2014 models, based on preliminary data.
The report's figures are intended to show real-world mileage and are adjusted down from those used for compliance with federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.