Local drivers support Obama's new fuel standards

by Julia Bruck

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - In a few years, the cars and trucks you buy will get more miles per gallon and pollute less.  Recently President Obama enacted new standards for automakers.  One local auto dealers told Heartland News those changes will come over time, helped by the advancement of technology.

Scott Changnon just filled up his fuel tank as he heads home for Easter.

"Ten gallons, $31.00 at $2.88 a gallon," Changnon said.

A student at SIU, Changnon says he hopes to buy a new car in a few years.  That is just about the time President Obama's new fuel standards will take effect.

"It would be beneficial to have the possibility of being able to get better gas mileage and therefore a better car.  It's also good for the environment," Changnon said.

Under the new standards, all 2016 car and truck models must average 35 and a half miles per gallon combined.  Tim Hirsch with Vogler Ford said the change won't happen overnight, instead it will be gradual.

"A little bit at a time as they make improvements and add technologies that help that fuel mileage increase.  It's not going to be a dramatic change from one year to the next," New Cars Sales Manager Tim Hirsch said.

Hirsch said the average fuel economy of the trucks on his lot is around 20 miles per gallon.  But he said Ford is working on is something called an Ecoboost, to help improve performance.

"Ford is talking about having a full size truck on the road in a few years that I think gets over 30 miles a gallon on the highway," Hirsch said.

While mileage must go up, emissions will have to come down.  However, those changes could cost about a thousand dollars more to buy a 2016 truck or car.

It's an increase Eric Haberer said he doesn't mind.  Recently he filled up his truck for $75.00 to drive from St. Louis to Carbondale.

"Your fuel costs get pretty high, so when you start paying less for gas I guess you make the money in the long run," Haberer said.

High prices at the pump have also pushed automakers to develop more fuel-efficient cars. Next year more hybrids and even some electric vehicles are expected in show rooms.

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