Auto efficiency makes gains, but falls short of targets

WASHINGTON (AP) — New government data show gas mileage for 2016 model year light-duty vehicles sold in the United States made smaller than expected gains in fuel economy over the last year, though new cars are generally sipping less gas and spewing less plant-warming carbon emissions than their predecessors.

The Environmental Protection Agency released its latest annual CO2 fuel economy trends Thursday. It shows 2016 vehicle fuel economy was 24.7 miles per gallon, higher than model year 2015 by only one-tenth of a gallon. That was well below the projected gain of 1 mpg. Carbon from vehicle tailpipes fell to 359 grams per mile, barely a one-half percent decrease from the prior year.

EPA touted the overall direction of the improvements.