US: buyers also push for better mileage image

Although new federal emission laws seem to be the driving factor for the continued improvement in the new car fuel economy levels, the consumers are actually also an integral part of the move.

Just like a spinning wheel, the automakers fight to improve the vehicles fuel economy, the lawmakers push them harder and the consumers in turn thoroughly expect each new model to come up better in the segment.

According to the Consumer Federation of America’s (CFA) latest annual report – just released, shows that while vehicles sold in America continue to improve on the fuel economy ratings, customers are also approving the new federal mandates that drive the economy push.

“Consumers want and expect the vehicles they intend to purchase to get significantly higher fuel economy,” said Mark Cooper, CFA’s director of research. “Many Americans struggle to live within their budgets, and a large majority are troubled about future gasoline prices.”

The federal mandate will ultimately require all US automakers comply to a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) of 54.5 mpg. For now, the current CAFE for all 2014 models built by the 14 largest US carmakers stands at just 25.6 mpg. Still, this is a 20% improvement over the level of 2008, when the models averaged only 21 mpg. The fuel savings have brought in estimated savings of around $300 annually on fuel for buyers.