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Newer Cars Saving MI Drivers Money at the Gas Pump

PHOTO: New research finds drivers of 2014 model vehicles are saving about 20 percent more on gasoline than those who drive a 2008 model. Photo credit: John Sense/morguefile.
PHOTO: New research finds drivers of 2014 model vehicles are saving about 20 percent more on gasoline than those who drive a 2008 model. Photo credit: John Sense/morguefile.
July 14, 2014

LANSING, Mich. - Michiganders who hit the road this summer have likely felt the pinch at the gas pump. But some spend a lot less fueling up than others.

New research from the Consumer Federation of America found that the average fuel economy of new cars has improved by 20 percent in four years.

Jack Gillis, director of public affairs for the federation, said drivers of 2008 model vehicles typically spend about $2,300 a year on fuel, but drivers of a typical 2014 model spend about $300 less.

He believes such savings will increase as manufacturers improve fuel efficiency.

"By 2020, you'll be spending just under $1,800," Gillis predicted. "There's tremendous good news out there. Consumers are demanding more fuel-efficient vehicles and buying them. But more importantly, car makers are offering them."

Gillis said people who purchase fuel-efficient vehicles like hybrids save about $500 more a year. New fuel economy standards require cars and light trucks to average just over 54 miles per gallon by the year 2025.

According to Gillis, car manufacturers are on their way to meeting the standards, as many of the new vehicles introduced this year exceed the future fuel economy benchmarks.

And overall, said Gillis, Americans are showing strong support for the new fuel-efficiency standards.

"What is interesting about this is that the support for these standards cuts across party lines," Gillis explained. "Seventy-six percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Independents, and 89 percent of Democrats favor the new fuel-efficiency standards."

Critics, including some car dealers and manufacturers, say the new standards could hurt business.

But Gillis said consumers are driving the demand. He cited his group's research finding most people expect their next vehicle they purchase to average at least 30 miles per gallon.

Read the Consumer Federation of America's study on consumer purchasing habits and more fuel efficient vehicles.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI