CR’s survey showed that fuel economy concerns among consumers are wide-ranging. Eighty-four percent of Americans agreed that it is important for manufacturers to improve fuel economy on larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs.
Eighty-three percent of Americans agreed that they expect each new generation of vehicles to be more fuel efficient than the last, and 74 percent agreed that automakers have a responsibility to continue improving gas mileage.
Regarding government fuel economy standards, 73 percent of Americans agreed that the U.S. government should continue strengthening standards; 30 percent agreed that state governments should be prevented from setting more stringent emissions standards than the federal government.
Half of Americans agreed that automakers are doing a good job building fuel-efficient vehicles, and 30 percent thought automakers care about consumers saving money on fuel costs.
Consumer Reports supports instituting stronger federal greenhouse-gas standards, which Friedman says automakers have the capability to meet, and which would save consumers money and reduce the impact of transportation on the climate and air quality.
“The auto industry has the technology to cut greenhouse gas emissions of new cars and light trucks 60 percent by 2030,” Friedman says. “This can be achieved through a combination of significantly improving fuel economy, and by shifting to electric and other alternative fuel vehicles.”
“Stronger standards mean people can buy new cars and trucks that will save them more money while clearing the air,” Friedman says. “Your mileage is better, and you’re making fewer trips to the gas pump, or eliminating the trips altogether with a money-saving electric car that you can plug in at home.”