Gas prices may be at their lowest level for this time of year since 2009, but consumers don’t expect them to stay that way.
While the average cost of a gallon of gas this week is $2.14, according to AAA, drivers expect prices to increase by more than $1 in the next five years to $3.50 per gallon, according to a recent survey by the Consumer Federation of America. Those projections are in line with projections by the federal Energy Information Administration.
Given that outlook, the fuel efficiency and gas mileage of cars remain an important consideration, and the majority of consumers support the federal fuel economy standards. “It’s no surprise that fuel efficiency is still a top priority as consumers have had a long history with volatile gas prices,” CFA Public Affairs Director Jack Gillis said in a statement.
The demand for greener vehicles has pushed automakers to make improvements, and more than half of all new cars now meet or exceed federal standards, according to the CFA. (Automakers must meet fuel-efficiency standards on average across their fleets, so some models can be below the standards if others exceed them.)
Highly efficient cars, which get more than 30 miles per gallon in on-road tests made up 13.4 percent of available models this year, up from 11.7 percent last year and just 1 percent in 2008.
Only 4 percent of available 2016models get less than 16 miles per gallon.