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Tuesday
Apr302013

POLL: More Americans Support Increase in Federal Fuel Efficiency Standards

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Drivers want more fuel-efficient vehicles, with four out of five surveyed in a nationwide poll saying it will be an important factor for their next car purchase. The poll from Consumer Federation of America finds that 85 percent of Americans support federal requirements to increase fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon by 2017.

"In 2009, about four percent of the vehicles available to consumers got over 30 miles per gallon. [In] 2013, that went up to 12 percent," said Jack Gillis, public affairs director for Consumer Federation of America and author of The Car Book.

Car manufacturers have already gotten the memo, though. With the federal deadline for super-fuel efficiency more than a decade away, the report shows newer car models are already up to code.

"Twelve models available this year -- for 2013 -- already meet the 2025 standard of 54.5 MPGs," Gillis says.

Considering the price of gas in recent years, the poll's results -- and automakers' response in their fleets -- should come as no surprise.

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • Support extends across the political spectrum, with 77 percent of Republicans, 87 percent of Independents and 92 percent of Democrats saying they support the higher standard.
  • Those who say fuel economy is very important expect to get 12 miles more per gallon from their next vehicle than those who say it is not important.
  • Consumers intend to purchase even higher mileage vehicles going forward.  Those who indicated that their current gas mileage was 24 mpg and who intend to purchase a vehicle in the future, expect a seven mpg increase, or to get 31 mpg from their next vehicle.
  • More than half (57 percent) of respondents who said they intend to purchase a SUV said they want its fuel economy to be at least 25 mpg.

To see the full report, click HERE.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio