• May 17, 2011
If you want to find examples of ways Americans disagree on politics, all you need to do is turn on any cable news channel right now. But here's a curious case of the majority agreeing on one important point: 62 percent of Americans support an increase in the average fuel economy mandate in the U.S. to 60 miles per gallon by 2025.

That's around the level currently under loose discussion in Washington (which is 62 mpg), and the strong, bi-partisan support is the finding of a survey released today by the Consumer Federation of America, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation under commission. The current CAFE rules, announced in April 2010, require 35 mpg by 2016.

There is one group that's against the 60+ mpg level, though: automakers. As former General Motors vice chair Bob Lutz told us the other day when talking about a CAFE increase that wasn't quite 62 mpg, "Nobody knows how to do a full-line fleet with the equivalent of 42 miles per gallon. That's ain'tgonnahappen.com."

More broadly, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents many major automakers, asked the Obama administration to not consider a 62 mpg standard until more studies on this level's impact on the industry are completed. It warned that such a high level might negatively affect safety, sales and jobs.


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  • 106 Comments
      RobbieAG
      • 3 Years Ago
      It sounds like another poll designed to influence public opinion rather than report on it. It's all in how the questions are worded. Who would be stupid enough to support a policy that will raise the price of, and reduce the selection of vehicles they can buy?
        Eduardo Maal
        • 3 Years Ago
        @RobbieAG
        I agree! What some people fail to realize is, 62 MPG will simply drive car prices up. Then, they'll complain they can't afford them! Haha.
          Eduardo Maal
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Eduardo Maal
          That's what they should've asked! "Will you back the 62MPG average fuel economy mandate, even if it drives vehicle prices up by X%?"
          Eduardo Maal
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Eduardo Maal
          Haha. Safety equipment did - and still does - drive prices up Chicagovet. Do you really need traction control in a 100 HP Ford Fiesta? I don't agree with anything imposed, but I disagree less with safety equipment than useless crazy mileage standards. By the way, the Globe isn't warming, Al Gore just bought a US$15 million beach house with the money you contributed.
          chicagovet
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Eduardo Maal
          "It will drive car prices up!" That's what was once said about safety equipment.
      Ducman69
      • 3 Years Ago
      Asking someone if they want 62mpg is like asking people if they want world hunger to end. Everyone will say yes, until you tell them what they have to sacrifice and pay to achieve that... then you see some backpedaling. The vehicles are bound to be much smaller and much more expensive, as 62mpg average has to compensate for the vehicles that by design are less efficient (work trucks and vans for one). Imagine the cost and performance of a 85mpg economy car to bump a fleet up to 62mpg today... even my dual-sparkplug per cylinder lean running 650cc motorcycle only does 55mpg.
        sumfoo1
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        the worst thing is most people don't even know what cafe is... they just think it means auto makers will make 62mpg cars... not force their entire line to average 62 mpg while standing on one leg ******* their thumb.
      Olsparkee
      • 3 Years Ago
      And how many voted to have free houses, for everyone to look like supermodels, the end to death and the ability to perform time travel? Dumb questions generate dumber answers.
        Lemon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Olsparkee
        Exactly! Of course consumers want higher mileage- theyre not the ones designing it! The funny thing is, if automakers are forced to comply, people are going to complain about the adfitional complexity and price.
      Anthony Vincent
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good luck with that. The majority of America are uninformed and naive when it comes to anything outside their own personal bubble. A 62MPG standard would wreak havoc on the economy and the auto industry. It would cost more than it would ever save...and the general public would no longer be able to afford a vehicle. Good luck.
      Kumar
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think that we would also find that there is a huge disconnect between the mpg's that people want and the horsepower/acceleration/speed that average drivers expect while racing to the next stoplight.
        jvshenderson
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kumar
        Not to mention the feeling of safety inside a tank-like SUV and the towing capacity to get their toys to the lake on the weekend...
      Rignerd
      • 3 Years Ago
      62% voted to repeal the laws of physics, so it's done right? Too bad we can't get 62% to vote for freedom. then they can buy what ever they want. With the interest in hypermiling and efficiency I'm sure some automaker would offer a 62+ MPG car, but it wouldn't pass current safety laws.
      LUSTSTANG S-197
      • 3 Years Ago
      Of course they want 62 mpg!! The question should be how many of those people want to drive around in something that looks like a Smart For Two. Given all of the CUVs, SUVs, pickups, luxury cars, and performance oriented cars I see on the roads, my guess is not many. This proves nothing more than that people want to have their cake and eat it too, and they probably don't want to pay for it either.
      Jason H
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh, they want the mileage...they just DON'T WANT TO DRIVE THE TINY LITTLE CARS that would be necessary to achieve that mileage.
      Chris
      • 3 Years Ago
      People asked may say yes to wanting 62mpg, but when I look out on the road they sure as heck don't practice what they preach. I'm guessing the average mpg on the road I see on the way to work is about 25-30. I see SUVs, I see small cars, I see everything, but I sure as heck don't see the 'majority' of the public driving anything near the 40-50 mpg cars now.
      BOB
      • 3 Years Ago
      In your wet dreams. Who the Hell you been talking to??
      jbm0866
      • 3 Years Ago
      No doubt everyone would like to get higher MPG's..even the people who can easily afford $70-$80 fillups every week or so. The real question is what what is this going to cost the average consumer? What I mean is this: if automakers are forced to research and implement some radical tech in a realitively short period of time, they will surely pass some of the costs back to consumers. How about a return to the anemic performance that drivers back in the late 70's through the 80's enjoyed? The horsepower wars may be over, and the days of inline 4's making the same horsepower as as V6's or even V8's of 20 years ago drawing to a close..
        Dump
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jbm0866
        They've already been doing this. The average cost of the most basic vehicles have risen dramatically. In the past 10-15 years, the US has passed numerous laws to forces automakers to provide required devices, systems, content to even their cheapest cars. These requirements cost money to develop, integrate, and install. Also, many consumers expect the basic car to have certain items at "no-additional-cost". Items like electric window operation/locks, cd player/radio, soft fabric on the seats, door locks, etc. Many items aren't required when driving, but are definitely appreciated.
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      Peter De Lorenzo has an excellent Rant on this today at The Autoextremist: "America is all about being green, as long as someone else is paying for it." http://www.autoextremist.com/
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