• Image Credit: Unplugged Performance
  • Image Credit: Unplugged Performance
  • Image Credit: Unplugged Performance
  • Image Credit: Unplugged Performance
  • Image Credit: Unplugged Performance
Talk about a report both green-car advocates and gearheads can celebrate. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put out its annual Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends report. And the 148-page study has something for everyone.

Model-year 2014 boasts 22 plug-in models – a dozen EVs and 10 PHEVs.

While the EPA doesn't factor in plug-in vehicles or compressed natural gas (CNG) models into its total miles per gallon figures, the group indicated that plug-ins will soon start having a substantial impact on overall greenhouse-gas emissions because of their sheer sales growth. Model-year 2014 boasts 22 plug-in models (a dozen EVs and 10 PHEVs), compared to 15 (11 EVs, four PHEVs) for the previous model year. Meanwhile, alt-fuel vehicle production jumped to about 105,000 units for model-year 2013 from less than 1,200 three years ago. It now accounts for about one percent of new-vehicle production.

As we noted the other day, model-year 2014 light-duty vehicles get an annual record of 24.2 miles per gallon, on average, up from 24.1 mpg the year prior and marking a 25-percent jump from the 19.3 average mpg a decade ago. Mazda was once again the miles per gallon champ among the automaker, boosting its 2014 model-year average to 28.8 mpg from 28.1 mpg a year earlier and lengthening its lead over Number Two Honda.

On the flipside, cars are quicker and more powerful than ever, even as their average weight continues to climb. Average horsepower is at an all-time high of 233, which was up from 227 horsepower for the 2013 model year and beating the previous record of 230 average horsepower in 2011. As a result, the average vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.2 seconds, down from an average of 8.4 seconds a year earlier.

The EPA has been tracking these figures since 1975. Back then, the average vehicle put out 137 horsepower, accelerated from 0 to 60 in about 14 seconds and got an average fuel economy rating of 13.1 miles per gallon. So much for the good old days. Here's a link to the most recent EPA report (PDF).

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