This support for higher standards and willingness to pay more for a car appear to reflect fundamental concerns about the nation's dependence on oil and oil imports and the view that higher standards would help, not hurt, the U.S. auto industry.
The survey was conducted for CFA by the Opinion Research Corporation on September 9-12, 2010. ORC surveyed a representative sample of 1,007 adult Americans. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points. The ORC survey data are available to press on request.
"This new survey data not only indicate that consumers want more fuel-efficient vehicles, but they are willing to pay more at the onset for them," said Jack Gillis CFA Director of Public Affairs and author of The Car Book.
CFA incorporated the survey findings in an issue brief entitled "Public Support for a 60 Mile Per Gallon Fuel Economy Standard" that shows why such a standard by 2025 is technically feasible and cost-neutral or cost-positive to consumers.
Based on studies by MIT and the National Academy of Science, CFA analyses found that the 60 mile per gallon standard would easily meet a payback period that the majority of respondents to the poll deemed to be acceptable.
"The Obama Administration has the opportunity to dramatically change the pace of improvement in fuel economy by setting a high, long-term standard for fuel economy," said Mark Cooper, CFA's director of research and author of the report. "A 60 mile per gallon fleet by 2025 is technically and economically feasible without lowering performance. And consumers are demanding it."