Consumers Want 60-mpg Standard. And I'd Like a Flying Car, Too. . .

Fifty-nine percent of Americans support a 60-mile per gallon fleet standard by 2025 according to a Consumer Federation of America survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation conducted September 9-12.

Fifty-nine percent of Americans support a 60-mile per gallon fleet standard by 2025 according to a Consumer Federation of America survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation conducted September 9-12.

And it's not like they're not willing to pay for this technological leap forward, either. Well, at least they're sort of interested. That is, 75% said they'd pay more for a more fuel-efficient car. . .wait for it. . .if they recovered the extra expense through lower fuel costs within one year. That's right: one-year payback on the extra money being paid for this car.

Sixty-two percent were somewhat more reasonable, indicating that they'd be satisfied with a five-year payback. But again, one wonders what the price of gas would need to be to provide this sort of ROI.

One thing that domestic vehicle manufacturers ought to take into some somewhat more serious consideration is that 60% of those surveyed think that a 60-mpg fleet average would make the car companies more profitable. Given that there is still a non-trivial number of Americans who are somewhat miffed at the financial situation of the two car companies that they are heavily invested in, like it or not, this is a rather surprising finding.

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By the way: According to the 2010 EPA Fuel Economy Guide, the most fuel-efficient car currently available is the Toyota Prius, with a rating of 51 city/48 highway mpg. A long way from a fleet—that means cars and trucks—average of 60 mpg.