Consumers Want More Fuel Efficient Heavy Duty Trucks

Big Truck Fuel Efficiency Standards Would Put Dollars Back into Household Budgets

(August 8, 2014)A large majority of Americans – nearly three quarters – favor requiring truck manufacturers to increase the fuel economy of large trucks to reduce their fuel costs, much of which is passed on to consumers. According to the most recent results of the Consumer Federation of America’s ongoing polling of consumer attitudes towards vehicle fuel efficiency, 74 percent of respondents support the standards with only 25 percent opposing them1.

CFA’s new survey shows that, in spite of the strong desire to regulate the reduction of fuel use by big trucks, only 56 percent of Americans are actually aware of the impact that such fuel use has on our pocketbooks. This expense is passed on to consumers in the cost of goods and services.

CFA's recent report, "Paying the Freight: The Consumer Benefits of Increasing the Fuel Economy of Medium and Heavy Duty Trucks" estimates that, each year, the average American household spends $1,100 extra on consumer goods and services to cover the costs of fueling up inefficient heavy duty trucks. Companies pass these fuel costs on to consumers through price hikes on everything from a gallon of milk to large appliances. According to the CFA study, increasing heavy duty truck fuel efficiency by 50 percent would cut truck fueling costs, saving the average household $250 per year on goods and services.

“Consumer support for big truck fuel economy is already substantial, and as consumers better understand the impact these policies have on their pocketbooks, public support for these policies will become even stronger,” said Jack Gillis, CFA’s director of public affairs and author of The Car Book.

CFA’s survey results and analysis in Paying the Freight are timely given the Obama Administration’s commitment to increase the fuel efficiency of medium and heavy duty trucks beginning in 2019. Tomorrow, CFA is submitting comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calling on the agency to recognize: 1) consumers as a major stakeholder in the proceedings; and, 2) the consumer pocketbook savings and the positive multiplier effect that increasing consumer disposable income will have on the economy in calculating costs and benefits in the analysis.

Contact: Jack Gillis, 202-737-0766

Consumer Federation of America is an association of nearly 300 non-profit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, education and advocacy.

1. For the CFA survey, ORC International asked a representative sample of 1005 adult Americans, by cell phone or landline, about the fuel economy of large trucks and related fuel economy standards July 10-13, 2014,. Margin of error for the survey is plus or minus three percentage points.