A new survey released Wednesday by the Consumer Reports National Research Center indicated that consumers would make fuel economy a high priority for their next vehicle purchase and would be willing to pay more for fuel savings.
Mira Oberman/Agence France-PresseA BP gas station in Chicago earlier this month.
Relative to respondents who expected their next vehicles to achieve about the same fuel economy as their present cars, nearly twice as many people expected to choose a model with much better or somewhat better fuel economy. More than 10 percent said they expected their next purchase to return 40 m.p.g. or higher.
Consumer Reports found that more than half of respondents were willing to pay extra for a more efficient vehicle, which prompted the survey authors to note that this tendency played into the strategy “of several automakers who offer special-edition models for a premium.” However, the mileage advantages of such models may be slight, in some cases just 1 to 2 m.p.g over the base models. Therefore, the return on such investments might take much longer to materialize than consumers anticipate, they said.