Are you a U.S. automaker? Do you want a billion dollars? Have we got a deal for you! Just build 60,000 cars that get 100 miles per gallon and the government will send a truckload of cash to your office doors (or, perhaps, mail a check).

H.R. 3872 – the Excellence in Energy Efficiency Act of 2012 – was just introduced by Representative Dan Lungren (R) of California's 3rd Congressional District. If passed, the legislation would have the Secretary of Energy "establish a program to award a prize in the amount of $1,000,000,000 to the first automobile manufacturer incorporated in the United States to manufacture and sell in the United States 60,000 mid-sized sedan automobiles which operate on gasoline and can travel 100 miles per gallon."

That's right, no cheating with subcompacts toys or fancy all-electrics, it's for adult-sized gasoline-burners only. It's unclear whether plug-in hybrids such as the Chevy Volt or upcoming Ford Fusion Energi might be eligible, but we doubt it since OpenCongress says the subtitle is, "To provide a prize to the first manufacturer of highly-efficient mid-sized automobiles powered by gasoline," and the Volt already comes in at 93 MPGe.

While established automakers couldn't be lured in by the measly $1 million offered by the Progressive X-Prize, we're sure they'd be more than happy to accept a check with the big B on it. The question this proposed law begs, though, is would they make an extra effort to achieve this sort of sky-high efficiency goal under other circumstances?

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,765 - $44,140
    2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    MSRP: $29,995 - $64,895
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630
    2015 Honda Civic
    MSRP: $18,290 - $26,740
    2015 Mazda Mazda3
    MSRP: $16,945 - $25,545
    Share This Photo X