New fuel standards saves consumers thousands


February 14, 2012

Consumers Union: New fuel standards would save consumers thousands in gasoline costs, boost innovation

CU files formal comments at Department of Transportation in support of higher fuel economy standards

WASHINGTON — Consumers Union (CU), the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, filed comments in support of proposed fuel economy standards at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on Monday.
The proposed standards issued by DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would require a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) level of 54.5 miles-per-gallon by the year 2025.
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.
In its comments, the organization said: “The proposed target is reasonable and provides excellent value for consumers. Improving fuel economy standards serves important national security, economic, and environmental goals and provides outstanding consumer benefits. A more efficient fleet will save consumers thousands of dollars in fuel costs. Although consumers will be paying slightly more money for more efficient vehicles, they will more than recover this investment through savings at the pump. Once fully implemented, the standards will save most car buyers money in the very first month of ownership.”
In a recent Consumer Reports survey, consumers demonstrated strong support for fuel efficiency standards, a desire for alternative fuel vehicle options and a willingness to pay for more efficient technology. Ninety-three percent said they believed that fuel efficiency standards for all vehicles should be improved. Seventy-two percent of consumers who planned to buy a vehicle said they would consider an alternative power train, such as hybrid, electric, flex-fuel or natural gas, and 83% were willing to pay extra for a fuel-efficient vehicle if the payback from lower fuel costs was less than five years.
CU’s comments were submitted by Ellen Bloom, CU’s Director of Federal Policy and the Washington Office; Shannon Baker-Branstetter, CU Policy Counsel; and David Champion, Director of Auto Testing for Consumer Reports.
Members of Consumers Union and Consumer Reports recently testified in support of the rules at public hearings held by EPA and NHTSA.
For a copy of CU’s formal comments click here or contact David Butler or Kara Kelber at 202-462-6262.