More sticker shock, less pain at the pump in the future

WASHINGTON – Proposed federal fuel economy regulations will save you money, even though they will drive up the price of new cars, according to a pair of leading consumer groups.

Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, and the Consumer Federation of America came out strongly in favor of the new rules, which would require cars and trucks to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

The improvements would raise the sticker price of a new car by an estimated $2,000, but the CFA says that over the span of a five-year auto loan, a driver would still end up saving nearly $800 because of reduced fuel costs.

Although the 54.5 miles per gallon figure sounds impressive, it’s “sort of an inside-the-beltway number,” according to the CFA’s Jack Gillis.

The Environmental Protection Agency says drivers should expect a real world average of around 39 miles per gallon, which the CFA says it took into account in the analysis. Vehicles on the road today average about 27 miles per gallon.

Public hearings on the issue begin next week.


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