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Better Fuel Economy by 2025 Will Deliver Great Value to Consumers

Consumers will reap major savings from newly proposed higher fuel economy standards. Gradually increasing fuel economy to a fleet average of 50 miles-per-gallon by 2025 will:

  • Reduce fuel costs by an average of more than $6,000 over the life of the vehicle
  • Provide consumers with more fuel-efficient and non-gasoline powered vehicle options

Consumers support strong fuel efficiency standards, want alternative fuel vehicle options and are willing to pay for them. According to a recent Consumer Reports survey:

  • 93% believe that fuel efficiency standards for all vehicles should be improved
  • 80% support at least 55 mpg as a target fleet average for 2025
  • As availability improves, 72% of consumers who plan to buy a vehicle would consider an alternative power train, such as hybrid, electric, flex-fuel or natural gas
  • 83% are willing to pay extra for more fuel efficient vehicle if the payback from lower fuel costs is less than five years

The proposed target will also accomplish major national energy and environmental goals and will:

  • Double the fuel economy of new vehicles between 2008 and 2025
  • Cut gasoline consumption by 4 billion barrels, helping reduce dependence on foreign oil
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2 billion metric tons
  • Spur the development of clean cars and domestically-sourced alternative fuels

The proposed target is reasonable and achievable. Fuel efficient technologies already exist, including:

  • Hybridization: Gas-sipping models are already on the market, such as the 2012 Toyota Prius (50 mpg), 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid (44 mpg), 2012 Lexus CT 200h (42 mpg), and 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid (39 mpg)
  • Plug-in electric: The 2012 Chevy Volt (95 mpg-e on electric and 37 mpg on gasoline) and 2011 Nissan Leaf (99 mpg-e) showcase how fuel efficient electric-drive can be. The Ford Focus EV, Toyota RAV4, and other electric models will be rolling out soon
  • Hydrogen fuel cell: The 2012 Mercedes Benz Fuel Cell will be available next year, and the Honda FCX Clarity is currently being leased in Southern California

The proposed target will not compromise vehicle safety:

  • Cars have been getting safer as fuel economy has improved, and this trend is likely to continue
  • Safety of future vehicles will be dominated by vehicle design, not size or weight
  • Advanced materials can decouple size from mass (weight), creating important new possibilities for simultaneously improving both fuel economy and safety without compromising functionality
  • Improvements are required across all vehicle sizes, so each class of car will see efficiency gains