How about this as an incentive plan? If we are serious about easing our dependence on oil the government could set up a fund of $1 billion (a rounding error in the Pentagon budget) for the first American company to design and mass market a car that gets more than 100 mpg. Half of that to go to the employees of the company and the the other half to the CEO which he can keep himself or distribute as he sees fit. And what the hell, lets make it tax free. I think that just might make a few people get off their asses, don't you? I think there would be some details to work out, like what constitutes mass market and what sort of car would qualify. I think it would have to be a "real" car, not some impractical niche vehicle. Something a family could drive to Wally World, say.
$1 billion isn't nearly enough. Ford recently lost nearly $6 billion in a quarter.
Take a look at this list. Right now, a Prius uses about 2 gallons of gas to drive 100 miles. Increase the fuel efficiency to 100 mpg -- a huge effort to drive such efficiencies -- and you've saved 1 gallon of gas. A Ford Expedition would need 5.8 gallons to drive 100 miles. You only need to improve the efficiency of the Expedition by 17% (vs. 100% for the Prius) to obtain the same savings in total fuel usage.
And there's no reason an Expedition can't get 21 mpg instead of 17. Except that Americans prefer the bigger car to better efficiency.
I'm going green, and you can count on the fact that I will not buy a Bentley Continental this year.
By 11:10 AM, at
...or, you could elect to not use any gas at all and just fuel your ride off the 110V drop in your garage.
These cars certainly aren't cheap, but I wouldn't expect the first production run of a car that gets 100mpg to cost much less.