Average prices at U.S. gasoline pumps have been running ahead of the record pace set last year, but rising fuel economy standards have given American motorists many more choices for mitigating pain at the pump, the Natural Resources Defense Council said.
The NRDC's new report on the subject is called "Relieving Pain at the Pump: Thanks to Stronger Standards, Consumers Have More Fuel-Efficient Choices." In it, the , the NRDC pointed out, for example, that the number of subcompacts offering 30 miles per gallon or better fuel economy had tripled from just five in the 2009 model year to 15 in model year 2012.
Overall, “drivers today have twice the fuel-efficient car options than just three years ago," said Luke Tonachel, senior vehicles analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The technology -- and fuel savings -- are only going to improve thanks to even stronger efficiency standards" in the future.
The firm, Baum & Associates, also contributed to the NRDC analysis. Its principal, Alan Baum, added that, unlike earlier years, the fuel economy improvements can be found across the entire spectrum of vehicle types and sizes, even pickup trucks.