In the summer of 2008, we saw Americans respond pretty quickly to gas that cost $4 a gallon (or more). Now that we've had time to adjust to average prices a little bit north of $2.50 in most parts of the country for the last half year or so, what will it take to get people to say, "Hey, gas costs a lot again and we should think seriously about fuel efficient cars and driving behavior"? According to consumer data that looked at, even the cost going up to around $3.50 isn't going to be enough. The takeaway point is that even at that price, interest in small cars, crossovers and pickups is "relatively low." Similarly, interest in hybrids and small cars in general is falling. With gas as cheap as it is, finding buyers for all of the more fuel efficient vehicles that the government is pushing to get made could be difficult. The problem, as so many people will tell you, is that gas is just too cheap in the U.S. As AutoPacific analyst James Hossack told Green Car Advisor:
There's nothing wrong with the government's policy. It's a good idea to consume less fuel. I certainly don't want to be giving more money [for oil] to people who don't like us. The problem with convincing people to embrace the idea is that we keep the price of gasoline so low.
More details available here.

[Source: Green Car Advisor | Image: sovett - C.C. License 2.0]

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