New Survey: Consumers Understand That Heavy-Duty Truck Fuel Costs Are Passed on to Them
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced new draft rules for heavy-duty vehicle fuel economy and emissions, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is releasing a new poll that finds a large majority of Americans favor requiring manufacturers to increase the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks (71 percent) while less than one quarter oppose such a requirement (24 percent). Conducted by ORC International, the poll surveyed over a thousand Americans in mid-May.
“Our poll found that Americans understand that big truck fuel costs are passed on to them, which means they understand that raising big truck fuel economy standards will save them money,” said Jack Gillis, CFA’s automotive expert and author of The Car Book.
According to the CFA survey, the vast majority of consumers understand that “some, most, or all” of the fuel costs of heavy-duty trucks (95 percent), which transport virtually every consumer good, are passed on to consumers. In fact, three-fifths (61 percent) believe that “all or most” of these costs are passed on to the consumer.
Proposed New Big Truck Fuel Efficiency Standards Benefit Consumers
CFA estimates that the average American household spends approximately $1,100 extra per year on consumer goods to cover the cost of fueling today’s big trucks, according to a CFA analysis. “As the federal government takes another step forward in addressing the nation’s energy challenges, today’s proposal to increase big truck fuel economy will not only further reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but reduce the cost of everyday consumer purchases,” said Gillis.
“While we look forward to analyzing the specific consumer impacts of the new rules, CFA has conducted enough analyses to know that energy performance standards for medium and heavy duty trucks are powerful tools that save consumers money,” said Dr. Mark Cooper, CFA’s Research Director. “Our survey shows that the American public recognizes this, too.”
In conducting the survey, CFA deliberately labeled the new rules as the ‘Obama Administration’s proposal to require large-truck fuel economy’ in order to test the true popularity of the rules. Despite a decline in President Obama’s popularity, an overwhelming majority (65 percent) still supports the proposal.
“The proposed heavy-duty truck fuel efficiency standards are a ‘win-win-win’, benefitting consumers’ pocketbooks, big truck fleet owners and the economy,” said Gillis. “Clearly, the vast majority of consumers understand how important these standards are and want them to go into effect.”
CFA commissioned ORC International to conduct the poll. A representative sample of 1,012 adult Americans was surveyed, by cell phone or landline, about the fuel economy of large trucks and related fuel economy standards from May 14-17, 2015. Margin of error for the survey is plus or minus three percentage points.
Contact: Jack Gillis, 202-737-0766
The Consumer Federation of America is an association of more than 250 nonprofit consumer groups that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.