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Majority Favors 54.5 MPG Mandate, but Not the Extra Cost

By Joel Arellano | July 29, 2011
If you're a typical American, you'd be happy to have better fuel economy. The question is, how much are you willing to pay for those extra mpg? Those questions are part of an online poll conducted by earlier this month. The near 1140 responses are especially relevant today, as the federal government prepares to announce its new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) requirements this week to automakers. The new rules are expected to mandate that U.S. vehicles average 54.5 mpg by 2025. The poll shows more than 72.4 percent of the responders support higher fuel standards such as the new CAFE figure, with nearly 70 percent believing automakers have the means to meet the standard. When asked about specific automakers, 63.6 percent believe Hyundai is best equipped to meet the CAFE goal, closely followed by Kia at around 57 percent. On the other hand, only 47.2 percent of the responders felt the domestic automakers prepared to meet the new standard, with Ford receiving the most votes at 47.3 percent. Voter approval of higher fuel efficiency plummeted, though, to 34.5 percent when asked if they would be willing to pay an extra $2000 plus for such vehicles. That's a potential problem, as automakers already argue the new CAFE standard could easily add $6000 to a vehicle's price tag by 2020 alone. How much more are you willing to pay extra for better fuel economy? $1000? $2000? $4000? $8000? Let us know in the comments below. Source:, Detroit News