As gas prices continue to rise, more car buyers are considering the possibilities of "going green."
A survey commissioned by Ford found that 82 percent of Americans would be willing to pay a little extra upfront in order to save money long term. Even more - about 95 percent - agree that fuel-efficient vehicles are important.
In order to capitalize on this sentiment, Ford is rolling out the first non-hybrid application of the Auto Start-Stop feature. This tool turns off the gasoline engine when a car is stopped in traffic, saving the fuel that is normally wasted when a car idles. Auto Start-Stop will be options for the 2013 Ford Fusion models.
"We expect the average Fusion driver with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine and Auto Start-Stop can recover the $295 cost of this technology through real-world fuel savings in less than 18 months," said Samantha Hoyt, a Fusion marketing manager. "That's more cash in their pocket and more time saved with fewer trips to the pump."
The survey revealed some other interesting customer feelings regarding energy savings. More than 70 percent said they have changed driving habits due to high gas prices, and several respondents said that they would use extra income for vehicle maintenance in order to make cars more fuel-efficient.