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Newer cars saving SD drivers money at the gas pump

SIOUX FALLS -- South Dakotans who traveled the roads over the holiday weekend likely felt the pinch at the gas pump, but some spent a lot less money fueling up than others

New research from the Consumer Federation of America finds the average fuel economy of new cars has improved by 20 percent in the past four years.

Jack Gillis, CFA director of public affairs, said drivers of 2008 models typically spend about $2,300 a year on gas — and those who drive a typical 2014 model are spending about $300 less. And he says savings should only increase as manufacturers improve fuel efficiency.

"By 2020, you'll be spending just under $1,800," Gillis said.

The new fuel economy standards require cars and light trucks to average just over 54 miles per gallon by 2025. According to Gillis, car manufacturers are well on their way to meeting the standards, as many of the new vehicles introduced this year already exceed the future fuel economy benchmarks.

Overall, he added, Americans are showing strong support for the new fuel-efficiency standards.

"What is interesting about this is that the support for these standards cuts across party lines — 76 percent of the Republicans, 83 percent of the Independents, and 89 percent of the Democrats favor the new fuel-efficiency standards," Gillis says.