A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. This assumes the average gasoline vehicle on the road today has a fuel economy of about 22.0 miles per gallon and drives around 11,500 miles per year. Every gallon of gasoline burned creates about 8,887 grams of CO2.
In 2020, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation accounted for about 27% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it the largest contributor of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, "[h]ighway vehicles release about 1.7 billion tons (1.5 billion metric tons) of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere each year — mostly in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2) — contributing to global climate change.
Transportation and Climate Change Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation account for about 27 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it the largest contributor of U.S. GHG emissions.
Transport accounts for around 30% of global carbon emissions, and 72% of these emissions come from road transportation – from cars, vans, lorries, buses and other road vehicles.
Passenger cars produced approximately three billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide in 2020. The emissions produced by passenger cars have been steadily rising over the past two decades, increasing from 2.2 billion metric tons in 2000 to a peak of 3.2 million metric tons.
Vehicles are now America's biggest CO2 source but EPA is tearing up regulations. Some of the most common avatars of climate change – hulking power stations and billowing smokestacks – may need a slight update.