It would appear that drivers in The United States are influenced far more by simple economics than concerns for the environment when it comes to burning less gas.
In a recent study market research firm MaritzCX reported that car buyers became conscious of fuel economy only when gasoline was selling for more than 3 dollars a gallon.
When gas was selling for anything less then 3 dollars a gallon, fuel economy fell, and when gas dips below $2.50 a gallon, it fell as low as the tenth priority that new car buyers thought to be important.
In 2016 for example, in which the price for gasoline was well below 3 dollars a gallon for the entire year only 4% of car buyers mentioned fuel economy as being important.
However, when the price of gas moved above the magic number of 3 dollars a gallon, the importance of fuel economy shot to the top of the list of things that people thought were important in a new car.
The one segment of the consumer auto market that was always sensitive to fuel economy was pick-up trucks.
CDK, a company that compiles market data with the hope of getting people to buy new cars through verbal manipulation, believes this may be because trucks use a lot of fuel, so when one gets marginally better gas mileage it tends to stand out.
They found that when the word “mileage” was used to try and close a sale in the sedan market, it didn’t really work all that well, but in the truck market it was more effective.
The clear inference of these for-profit studies is that the higher gas prices are, the better.
If we continue to look for ways to produce cheaper sources of conventional fuels, we will never be able to cut our self-destructive addiction to petroleum off, and move on to something that isn’t poisoning us, and every other creature there is.