Final fuel economy standards will help consumers

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August 28, 2012

Final Fuel Economy Standards Will Help Consumers Save at the Pump

WASHINGTON, DC – The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the final details of new fuel economy rules for Model Year 2017-2025 cars and light-duty trucks. The standards issued today require new vehicles to reach a combined fuel-economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The new rule builds upon current standards that call for automakers to raise fuel efficiency from 27 mpg today to 35.4 mpg by 2016.
Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, praised the announcement as a consumer-friendly rule that will help consumers save money at the pump.
“These standards mean consumers will be able to save thousands of dollars on gasoline over the lifetime of their vehicle,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “This is an achievable target that will make a positive impact in people’s everyday lives. Increasing fuel efficiency in the next generation of vehicles goes beyond simple savings. It also helps lower oil consumption and cuts pollution while consumers save money on gasoline. ”
An April 2012 poll by Consumer Reports found strong support for the increased fuel-efficiency standards, where almost 80 percent of consumers agreed or strongly agreed that “fuel economy standards should require auto manufacturers to increase the overall fleet average to at least 55 miles per gallon.” Overall, nearly three quarters (73 percent) of participants said they would consider some type of alternatively fueled vehicle, with flex-fuel (which can run on E85 ethanol) and hybrid models leading the way. The survey also found that fuel economy was the most important consideration to consumers when shopping for their next car.
Jake Fisher, Director of Auto Testing for Consumer Reports said, “Gasoline prices and fuel economy are clearly on consumers’ minds when they go to buy a new vehicle. Our surveys show that consumers are interested in finding new ways to achieve that, like turning to hybrids and other alternatively fueled vehicles. The new fuel-efficiency standard will help provide consumers with a fleet of vehicles that will reduce the bill at the gas station.”
Consumers Union has been very supportive of the increased fuel economy standards, filing comments and testifying in favor of the increased efficiency standards at public hearings held by EPA and NHTSA. In addition to Consumers Union’s formal comments, more than 27,000 consumers submitted their own comments in support of the higher standards in response to an e-mail alert sent by CU.
The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted the random, nationwide telephone survey in two waves, April 5-7 and April 12-15, 2012, contacting 2,009 adults. The Center interviewed 1,702 adults in households that had at least one car.

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