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EPA’s Plan to Finalize Fuel Economy Standards Applauded by Consumers Union

| December 26, 2016

fuel economy

The  public policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports has given a big thumbs up to the  Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to finalize fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles through model year 2025.

The group, Consumers Union, noted that individual “who purchase vehicles that meet the 2025 standard will benefit from a significant reduction in fuel expenses, more choice in fuel efficient vehicles and protection from future spikes in gas prices.”

“This plan will ensure new-car buyers save real money and have more options for clean, fuel-efficient vehicles over the next decade,” said Shannon Baker–Branstetter, energy policy counsel for Consumers Union. “We see a lot of advancements in car technologies and features every year, , but fuel efficiency investments are unique in that they pay for themselves and keep more money in the pockets of consumers.”

The numbers are worth examining: A recent Consumers Union analysis found that under the 2025 standards, consumers would benefit from net savings of $3,200 per car and $5,700 per truck. The fuel savings are significant enough that, even with continuing low gas prices, the fuel savings would outweigh technology costs starting with the very first car loan payment and continuing after that.

What’s more, if gas prices rise, the savings will be even greater – up to $5,700 per car and $8,200 per truck, according to the group.  Depending on the car-truck vehicle mix, EPA’s latest analysis found that net consumer benefits would total between $60 billion and $100 billion.

From a broader perspective, “Fuel economy is the number one attribute vehicle owners would like to see improved,” according to a  June 2016 survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.  In fact, fuel economy beat out purchase price, connectivity, vehicle comfort, safety, cargo space, reliability, horsepower, vehicle size, off-road capability, style, and handling.  And even consumers who plan to buy a SUV still want their next vehicle to have better fuel economy.

What’s more, every segment based on consumers’ current vehicle type (small, midsize, large, and pick-up truck) identified fuel economy as the number one attribute that needs improvement.  This isn’t surprising, given that higher fuel economy is correlated with higher ownership satisfaction.

The survey findings also show that strong majorities of Americans believe increasing fuel efficiency is important (84%) and that the government should continue to set standards for higher fuel economy in cars and trucks (70%) – a belief supported by majorities of both Republicans and Democrats.

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Category: Consumer

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