Who wants better, more efficient cars? Most of you, apparently.

A nationwide telephone poll (PDF) conducted by the Mellman Group and sponsored by Environment America, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists, found that 74 percent of expected voters in the U.S. would support "the federal government requiring the auto industry to increase average fuel efficiency to 60 miles per gallon by the year 2025." Additionally, 66 percent of the 1,000-plus surveyed support the 60 mpg CAFE goal even if it adds as much as $3,000 to the price of new cars. Ford's VP wholeheartedly disagrees with the suggestion that buyers would be willing to pay more for increased fuel efficiency, but that's another story.

Here are some more findings from the poll:
  • 78% favor regulations to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles.
  • 88% believe that the U.S. needs to act now to increase fuel efficiency.
  • If stringent fuel economy standards are implemented, 63% of respondents believe that the cost of vehicles will increase beyond an acceptable amount.
  • 75% of respondents believe that increasing the average fuel economy numbers for vehicles would likely create jobs in the U.S.
  • 86% of respondents believe that the technology required to achieve 60 mpg either already exists or could be developed soon.
Hitting 60 mpg may seem like a stretch but, as Aaron Huertas, spokesman for the Union of Concerned Scientists, told HybridCars.com, "60 mpg doesn't sound like a crazy number to the public. They believe the auto companies have the technology to achieve it." The public is probably right, but who's willing to foot the bill for all that pricey, efficiency-boosting technology? Are you? Hat tip to Steven!

[Source: Green Car Congress, UCSUSA, Hybrid Cars | Image: Beige Alert – C.C. License 2.0]