WASHINGTON (Jan. 12, 2012)— The proposed federal fuel economy standard of 54.5 mpg by model year 2025 will save consumers money in its first month, according to the Consumer Federation of America.
The CFA and Consumers Union jointly supported the proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The 54.5-mpg standard, the CFA said, will lower the cost of driving from the first month because the reduction in gasoline expenditures it will cause will be greater than the increase in monthly car payments to pay for the technology.
At the end of a five-year auto loan, a motorist will save nearly $800 by purchasing a car that meets the 54.5-mpg standard, the CFA said. After 10 years, total savings will exceed $3,000, according to the federation.
Improving vehicle fuel economy is crucial to consumers in the face of rising gasoline prices, the CFA said. In 2010, gasoline expenditures per average household were 40 percent higher than spending on home energy such as electricity, natural gas and heating oil, it said. By comparison, in 2000 gasoline costs were 13 percent lower for consumers than home energy, it said.
The CFA and Consumers Union plan to testify next week at joint NHTSA-EPA hearings in Philadelphia, Detroit and San Francisco on the proposed standard. They also will submit comments to the dockets of both agencies, the CFA said.