Print 83 comment(s) - last by protosv.. on May 11 at 9:49 PM

Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI
The majority of vehicle shopper support increased fuel efficiency standards

The Consumer Federation of America recently released a report that it calls the first progress report on the 54.5 mpg fuel efficiency standard. According to the CFA, consumers are demanding more fuel-efficient vehicles. According to the poll, the majority of Americans support federal government requirements increasing fuel economy for new cars.

“Looking at current market offerings, consumer purchasing trends and our surveys of consumer demand, there is no doubt that the federal effort to significantly raise fuel economy is benefiting, consumers, car companies, autoworkers and the environment”, said Jack Gillis, report co-author who is CFA’s Director of Public Affairs and author of The Car Book.

Those federal regulations stipulate that new cars achieve 35 mpg fleetwide average by 2017 and an average of 55 mpg by 2025. 85% of respondents to the survey said that they support these requirements with 54% saying they strongly support the standards.

Fuel efficiency is highly sought after when it comes to purchasing new vehicles with 88% respondents to the survey saying that in their next vehicle purchase, fuel economy will be an important factor and 59% say fuel economy will be a very important factor influencing the purchase.

Survey respondents who say fuel economy is very important to them expect their next vehicle to get 12 mpg more than the current vehicle. Consumers who already have a relatively efficient vehicle getting at least 24 mpg the intended purchase a new vehicle in the future want at least a seven mpg increase putting their desires at approximately 31 mpg.

The survey also found that 50% of respondents who said they intend to purchase an SUV want fuel efficiency of at least 25 mpg.

“These results should lay to rest any concerns that some car dealers had about consumer demand for more fuel efficient vehicles,” said Gillis.  In spite of the support of car companies, unions, consumer and environmental groups, the National Automobile Dealers Association was the only major entity opposed to the new requirements.

Source: ConsumerFed

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Well...
By Solandri on 5/8/2013 1:45:48 PM , Rating: 3
Without the goals set by these mandates manufacturers will look at their most economical cars and say 'Good enough! No need to improve them'. The mandates raise the bar that manufacturers have to reach.

Without the mandates, the manufacturers will make what the customers want. There's this vast conspiracy theory that the automakers are deliberately trying to keep fuel economy down. That simply isn't the case. It's the customers who are not prioritizing fuel economy highly enough.

Here's car and truck sales data for the U.S. from 1931 to present.

If you sift through it, you'll find that light trucks accounted for about 15% (give or take 5%) of passenger vehicle sales for most of the 20th century. Then in the early 1970s when the oil embargo caused manufacturers to release more fuel-efficient cars, the ratio starts shifting towards light trucks. CAFE was implemented in 1975, continuing the trend towards trucks. Until we arrive at where we are today - approximately half of new vehicle sales are light trucks.

Basically the government implemented CAFE because it believed the conspiracy theory that the automakers were keeping mileage down. It forced the automakers to raise mileage, which they did by reducing vehicle size and (after you subtract technological advances) power. Customers responded by buying the bigger and more powerful trucks instead of CAFE-inspired cars.

It's the customers who are resisting the move to higher mileage, not the automakers. If we want to increase vehicle mileage, it'd be much more effective to do it by ditching CAFE and implementing higher fuel taxes.

RE: Well...
By freedom4556 on 5/8/2013 1:52:59 PM , Rating: 1
This x1000. I don't understand why otherwise normally intelligent but left-leaning people can't see it. The free market is working, but it isn't doing why they (the environmentally-concerned) want.

RE: Well...
By kmmatney on 5/8/2013 5:00:06 PM , Rating: 2
I think gas prices aren't high enough for that to happen yet. I'd like to see what people buy if gas prices hit UK levels ($8/gallon). At U.S. gas prices, customers are "concerned" with gas mileage, but there are other factors that may be more important.

RE: Well...
By Nutzo on 5/9/2013 6:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand why otherwise normally intelligent but left-leaning people can't see it.

Because left-leaning people don't trust individuals or the free markets. Only the government can be trusted, and should be used to force people to make the correct choice.

Make that correct choice according to some clueless political hack.

What may be the best choice for one person, may not be the best for everyone else, and thats why this type of central planning never works.

RE: Well...
By Mint on 5/10/2013 8:50:54 AM , Rating: 2
Read the source article and you'll see that right leaning people agree want mandated higher efficiencies as well.

RE: Well...
By rountad on 5/10/2013 9:48:10 AM , Rating: 2
When I see things like this (calls for mandates), I am reminded of all the people that keep retaining the services of the Three Stooges as plumbers or movers...

Not only is this counter-productive and much better handled by either the free market (best) or higher gas taxes (better than CAFE, but still problematic), the choice of who should fix this is mind-boggling to me.

We are clamoring to give up choice and freedom.
We are choosing as our "saviors" people who have demonstrated corruption, incompetence, and indifference in large measure.

RE: Well...
By cyberguyz on 5/8/2013 2:54:52 PM , Rating: 2
You think it was the oil embargo that forced people to light trucks? Look at the 70s and 80s. what were the most popular cars? Minivans. Then as we moved from the 80s to the third millennium you see SUVs and crossovers gaining popularity. Do you really think folks are thinking about fuel economy when they buy these?

So what do YOU think is driving the manufacturers to build more and more fuel efficiency cars? It is certainly not the soccer moms or the guy driving the hummer. The car companies have made huge amounts of profit making them. Listen to the auto makers bellyache about having to meet ever stiffer and stiffer fuel economy goals. Do you really think they will do that on their own? The way they are complaining now?

Nope. Unless these car makers are pushed to innovate, they will not. Just look at the Toyota Corolla to see the truth in that.

RE: Well...
By protosv on 5/11/2013 9:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
Just look at the Toyota Corolla to see the truth in that.

This. Somehow Honda, Mazda, Hyundai, Ford, hell even GM have managed to come out with compacts that at least approach 40mpg highway. Corolla? Gets a measly 34mpg in comparison. Why? Because they can afford to sacrifice its mpg in order to push customers up to the Prius, which *starts* at $8K more!

RE: Well...
By cyberguyz on 5/8/2013 3:03:09 PM , Rating: 2
(sorry for dbl post DT won't let me edit :/)

Just as an FYI, I currently drive a 2013 Focus. When I was shopping around I had on my shortlist 3 cars:

1. 2013 For Mustang V6
2. 2013 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T / Kia Optima 2.0T
3. 2013 Focus (non ST)

All 3 were only within a $1000-$2000 or two of each other and comparably equipped. Care to guess why I went with the Focus? Both of the competing cars had more power, were bigger and were faster. Here's a guess:

It costs about $35 bucks to fill it up and I just as far. Do you really think I would be getting that kind of economy if CAFE had not been forcing the automakers to provide it?

RE: Well...
By Spuke on 5/8/2013 7:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
Do you really think I would be getting that kind of economy if CAFE had not been forcing the automakers to provide it?
Are you talking about the new CAFE or the old one? If you're talking about the old one then no. If you're talking about the new one, then no. Todays cars were designed 4 or 5 years ago on the old CAFE standards which all of them equal or surpass. Only a few cars meet the new CAFE standards. What all of you fail to realize is that todays fuel efficiency improvements have crap to do with CAFE and everything to do with what WE want. So, yes the automakers will respond to consumer demand like they always do (duh) else they would be out of business.

RE: Well...
By Philippine Mango on 5/9/2013 1:40:00 PM , Rating: 2
You're terribly misinformed. The fuel economy improvements you see in vehicles today really are tied directly with the Bush/Obama directive of improving vehicle fuel economy by 2016. This Old/new CAFE fuel economy crap is only for the Monroney Sticker that the consumer sees. That number on the Monroney sticker is directly derived from the original CAFE formula that has been in use since the 70s and is still used to this day. Bush/Obama did in fact raise the original CAFE numbers requirements that the automakers use when testing for the standard. For an idea of what I'm talking about, the Prius gets 50mpg on the Monroney Sticker but on the CAFE fuel economy test cycle, it's rated at 70mpg...

RE: Well...
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 5/8/2013 3:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, raising the gas tax to reduce consumption makes a lot more thermodynamic and libertarian sense than forcing automakers to comply with a MPG mandate or (by trickle-down thuggery) forcing buyers to buy them.

RE: Well...
By Mint on 5/8/2013 3:55:36 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that it's political suicide, even if you use the revenues to give people tax breaks.

Even in supposedly tree-hugging Canada, the Liberal Party leader concocted a carbon tax scheme paired with lower income taxes that would result in net savings for most families, and that formerly ruling party got absolutely hammered with its worst result in decades.

RE: Well...
By Philippine Mango on 5/9/2013 1:42:22 PM , Rating: 2
Why do you think that a gas tax is better than a gas guzzler tax? That makes no sense unless you think it's better because it's a tax on everybody instead of a tax on idiots.

RE: Well...
By rountad on 5/9/2013 1:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about him, but I would rather see a higher gas tax than the increased CAFE standards.

The increased tax will incentivize the creation of more efficient cars and make people spend more money.

The CAFE increase will limit choice of vehicles, force auto manufacturers to make certain types of vehicles, and make people spend more money.

Both involve increased costs, but one limits choice and freedom less.

Even better would be to let the free market come to an equilibrium.

We are exporting large quantities of gasoline. We aren't hurting for it. Not even close.

RE: Well...
By Philippine Mango on 5/9/2013 2:05:12 PM , Rating: 1

The CAFE increase will limit choice of vehicles, force auto manufacturers to make certain types of vehicles, and make people spend more money.

Both involve increased costs, but one limits choice and freedom less.

Even better would be to let the free market come to an equilibrium.

We are exporting large quantities of gasoline. We aren't hurting for it. Not even close.

How does having a high gas tax not limit vehicle choice but the CAFE tax limits vehicle choice? That doesn't make any sense. The automakers can and do make vehicles that violate the MPG rating needed to not get penalties so the idea that raising it will limit vehicle choice but a gas tax won't is just ridiculous. If people are dumb enough to buy a gas guzzler price be damned, then they'll continue to do so and automakers will continue to make those vehicles. Fact of the matter is, vehicle choice is already limited by the auto manufacturers because they build what is most profitable at the cost of choice so it's all a wash. You want a gas guzzling vehicle I want a fuel sipping pickup truck, as it currently stands, I'm not getting what I want and you're apparently not getting what you want either so who gives a shit.

RE: Well...
By rountad on 5/9/2013 5:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
It limits vehicle choice at the automaker level.

If they want to avoid penalties
If they are willing to pay penalties but the car in question isn't cost effective with the penalties
The opportunity cost of producing cars that the automakers don't want to produce, but feel like they are forced to to comply with regulation

Didn't one of the Italian automakers, Fiat or Maserati, just say that hybrids were crap but they'd soon have to be making them?

Anyway, my point is that CAFE will stop many high HP cars from seeing the light of day, but you'll get more and more fuel efficient trucks either way.

RE: Well...
By Nutzo on 5/9/2013 6:40:07 PM , Rating: 2
So someone's an idiot because they need a large car?

We currently have a mini van so the wife can carpool the kids.

Before that I and a SUV because I was hauling alot of contruction stuff.

I guess we would have been smarter to buy a Pruis and made 2-3 seperate trips everytime we needed to haul several people or lots of stuff.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki