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EPA Trends Report names Honda as most fuel-efficient automaker

If Honda is the most fuel-efficient brand, then what is the least efficient? The answer might surprise you.

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A new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named Honda as the most fuel-efficient automaker in America. The company has the highest fleet average fuel economy and lowest CO2 emissions of any major full-line automaker for the 2018 model year (MY2018), the latest year for which full data is available, according to the report.

The 2019 EPA Automotive Trends Report ranked Honda first among full-line automakers and second overall with a U.S. fleet average "real world" fuel economy of 30.0 miles per gallon (mpg), a five-year improvement of 2.8 mpg, and 4.9 mpg above the industry average for MY2018. Similarly, Honda's fleet average CO2 emissions dropped to 296 grams/mile, an improvement of 31 grams/mile from 2013 results and 57 grams/mile better than (below) the industry average for the 2018 model year.

The Big Three - General Motors, Ford, and FCA - took up the bottom three slots on the report.

Honda EPA ranking Honda beat out Subaru, Mazda, and Hyundai to be named the most fuel-efficient automaker.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

In 2019, Honda set a new all-time record for sales of electrified vehicles in America, including the Clarity series, Accord Hybrid and the Insight. The company has added the CR-V Hybrid to its lineup for the 2020 model year and there are indications that more electrified powertrains are coming not too far down the road. Honda has previously announced the intention to have two-thirds of its automobile sales to be electrified by 2030.

Other automakers are electrifying their lineups and making already existing hybrid models more fuel-efficient. Subaru recently introduced the Crosstrek Hybrid, a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV) based on the engineering in the Toyota Prius Prime. Toyota has recommitted to electrification in the U.S. but debuting new, more efficient RAV4 and Highlander Hybrid models in the past 18 months. A RAV4 plug-in model, called the RAV4 Prime, is coming for the 2021 model year.

Click here to see the most fuel-efficient SUVs sold in the U.S.

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Honda notified dealers of upcoming supply cuts.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda, like all major automakers today, is truly a global operation. Though it produces plenty of vehicles here in the United States, many of the components it relies on for manufacturing come from elsewhere in the world. That means Honda, like the other auto giants, needs its global supply chain operating smoothly in order to prevent disruption. Unfortunately for Honda dealers and potential customers, disruption is what's about to happen. The automaker recently sent a letter to its dealers, forecasting reduced vehicle supply in the coming weeks.


2021 Honda Ridgeline No. 19 - Honda Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


The dealer letter, posted to the Civic XI forum and fan site, was dated August 25 and confirmed by a dealer upset with the development, according to Automotive News. In the letter, Honda cites the ongoing pandemic and microchip shortages as major factors impacting its production efforts. Total shipments to dealers could be cut by up to 40 percent, but not all models will be affected to the same degree.

The letter noted that supplies of the Pilot and Passport SUVs will hold steady, and shared that production of the Civic hatchback is on schedule. However, the situation is fluid and could change at any time, so there's a chance that timelines could speed up or slack off as necessary.


2022 Honda Pilot Some models will see more cuts than others.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


Honda is just the latest in a long line of automakers struggling to keep pace with demand in the face of several converging global crises. In an effort to keep vehicles rolling out of factories, General Motors has implemented selective feature cuts in some of its new vehicles, such as the removal of engine start/stop tech from some trucks and SUVs. Earlier this month, Ford Motor Company told Mustang Mach-E buyers to expect delays of at least six weeks as it grapples with the chip shortage, and will temporarily reduce production capacity at a few of its plants.

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Vehicle sales numbers

Toyota has sold over 50 million Corollas

Toyota has sold tens of millions of Corollas over the last 55 years.

Toyota

The Toyota Corolla entered its 12th generation in 2019, after more than 50 years on sale. Now, in 2021, the automaker says the car has reached another benchmark, this time with an almost unbelievable number attached to it. In Today, Toyota says that in July 2021, it sold the 50-millionth Corolla. That's almost one Corolla sold for every six Americans alive today, though the sales total includes international vehicles as well.


1969 Toyota Corolla The Corolla's frugal powertrain helped it grow quickly in the United States.Toyota


The Corolla debuted in 1966 but didn't make its way to our shores until spring 1968. Sold as a 1969 model, the car had a starting price of around $1,700 at a time when the median household income was $7,700. The first cars had a short-stroke 1,077-cc four-cylinder engine, 12-inch wheels, and a four-speed manual transmission. That powertrain produced only 60 horsepower, which was good for the car to (eventually) reach 60 mph in about 17 seconds.

Though the car's quality and design helped, it was the oil crisis in the early 1970s that really pushed it to the top of buyers' lists. Big American cars powered by V8 engines fell out of favor as fuel rationing and higher prices took hold. The early Corolla's fuel economy of over 35 mpg helped it earn a place in many Americans' driveways as a result.


2021 Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation


Toyota notes that it was building Corollas in the United States by the mid-1980s and says that the current generation car is built at its manufacturing facility in Mississippi. The automaker's new joint plant with Mazda, which is located in Huntsville, Alabama, will start building the new Corolla Cross this summer.

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