Poll: Americans Want More Fuel Efficient Trucks

August 08, 2014

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While Congress is out on vacation, one lobby group is reminding lawmakers while they are out talking with voters back home that a large majority of Americans favor requiring truck manufacturers to increase the fuel economy of large trucks, at least according to its poll.

According to the most recent results of the Consumer Federation of America’s survey of consumer attitudes towards vehicle fuel efficiency, 74% of respondents support the standards with 25% opposing them.

CFA, which represents nearly 300 non-profit consumer organizations, said the survey shows in spite of the strong desire to regulate the reduction of fuel use by big trucks, only 56% of Americans are actually aware of the impact that such fuel use has on their pocketbooks, with his expense being passed along to consumers in the cost of goods and services.

The groups recent report, Paying the Freight: The Consumer Benefits of Increasing the Fuel Economy of Medium and Heavy Duty Trucks, estimates 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,” the group said in a release. “According to the CFA study, increasing heavy duty truck fuel efficiency by 50% would cut truck fueling costs, saving the average household $250 per year on goods and services.”

The poll of just over 1,000 adults has a margin of error of plus or minus 3% and was conducted near mid-July.

“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.

CFA said the survey results and analysis in recent report are timely given the Obama administration’s push to increase the fuel efficiency of medium and heavy duty trucks beginning in 2019. The group said it was planning to submit comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calling on the agency to “recognize consumers as a major stakeholder in the proceedings [as it develops new truck fuel efficiency rules] and 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.”

The issue of increasing truck fuel economy in trucking remains controversial, with trucking supporters saying they will reduce the overall cost of ownership of trucks. Opponents claim many truck owners, especially small fleets and owner-operators, can not afford higher truck prices that will likely come with fuel efficiency increases, adding they have already been hurt by truck price hikes associated with more stringent federal emissions regulations over the past decade.  Such opposition has led to some in Congress to try and stop new rules to make trucks get better fuel milage.


  1. 1. Cliff Downing [ August 11, 2014 @ 03:50AM ]

    What the public doesn't understand is the law of unintended consequences. We all want better fuel economy in trucking, just like we want it in even our personal vehicles, but the price to get what we want often times more than out does the improvement if it is not done is a systematic, well researched way. We found out how rushing into curbing emissions too quickly created a laundry list of bad side effects for trucking, and increased costs dramatically. This could be a repeat scenario if we don't plan our steps better. In the end, the cost to the consumer could actually rise as opposed to seeing any savings.

  2. 2. Steve [ August 11, 2014 @ 05:10AM ]

    I agree with Cliff the public well always want until they find out the cost of getting it. By then it is to late. The consumer does not want to pay the bill thou. Tell them that it will bring up their cost of living and see what they say then.

  3. 3. Ralph [ August 11, 2014 @ 12:14PM ]

    Hey as long as they dont have to pay for it they probably would like all trucks to be gold plated too! Who keeps giving a voice to these morons?
    Get Real!
    I would like a law that says all poll takers only ask relevant questions and be completely unbiased. How about that

  4. 4. arthur8675 [ August 11, 2014 @ 01:07PM ]

    I think it's safe to say that fuel efficiency is the number one concern of fleet owners already -- it's their number one expense. Why on Earth would this need to be legislated? The EPA's emission requirements are already killing fuel efficiency on trucks, and often the truck itself -- so I'd love to see how this one is giong to backfire on them. How about they put one diesel mechanic and one actual truck drive in Congress and then we might be able to trust the regulations they pass.

  5. 5. carbedout [ August 12, 2014 @ 02:25PM ]

    This story is being linked to by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) website. Most if not all articles that CARB links on their website tend to help justify their position and need for further regulations by them and EPA. As we learned with the off road regulation and now the on road diesel regulations by CARB, (and climate change as well) CARB public opinion, CARB grant funded university studies and modeling don't correspond with the real world.
    However,the real world consequences created academic bureaucrats are never a consideration, the only thing that matters is a new boogie man to regulate and a new or larger bureaucracy to regulate them, including payoffs through grants to Alma Maters and political contributors. (follow the money)


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