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Consumer Reports to testify for strong fuel economy standards for new vehicles at NHTSA hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer Reports (CR) will testify at a virtual public hearing to be held Thursday, September 28, on a proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to improve fuel economy standards for new cars and light-duty trucks. 


The nonprofit consumer research and advocacy organization will provide analysis of NHTSA’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (CAFE) proposal for vehicle model years 2027 through 2032.  


CR will make recommendations for how the proposal can be strengthened significantly to deliver greater cost savings and environmental benefits for consumers. 


Three CR advocates and a group of consumers invited by CR will speak over the course of the day-long hearing.  A hearing schedule is available here.


In prepared testimony for the hearing, Dr. Quinta Warren, Associate Director of Sustainability Policy for Consumer Reports, says:  “Strong fuel economy standards help consumers save money on gasoline and reduce the level of harmful pollutants in the air. We urge NHTSA to set the maximum feasible standards possible to ensure that we maximize the cost savings to consumers, including marginalized communities, and make our cars and light-duty trucks as fuel efficient as possible.” 


Chris Harto, Senior Policy Analyst at Consumer Reports, says that NHTSA’s current proposal is flawed because the modeling greatly underestimates the cost effectiveness of hybrid vehicles: “Hybrid technology is a popular, mature, cost-effective, no-compromise solution. CR analysis of the cost effectiveness of today’s hybrids finds that they deliver $5 in consumer savings for every $1 in increased vehicle costs based on the most popular hybrid vehicles on the market today. Yet NHTSA’s modeling somehow concludes that hybrid vehicles are not cost effective, which greatly impacts their recommendations on stringency.”  


Alexandra Grose, Senior Policy Counsel, Sustainability Policy for Consumer Reports, says:  “American consumers want and expect automakers to continue improving fuel economy. In a recent nationally representative survey, we found that 85 percent of American consumers agree or strongly agree that automakers should continue to improve fuel economy for all vehicle types, and 82 percent agree or strongly agree that making larger vehicles more fuel efficient is important.”


More than 30,000 consumers have signed a CR petition to NHTSA and the Environmental Protection Agency in support of cleaner, more efficient vehicles as the two agencies consider proposals for new standards. 


Contact: David Butler, david.butler@consumer.org