Technology exists for gas cars to get 55 miles per gallon — the fuel economy goal set by the Obama administration for the year 2025. But all the extra comforts consumers are used to — including automatic transmissions and power windows — can drive fuel economy down by half.
Some auto executives say customers may not be ready for hybrids yet, but now it's time for the car companies to lead them there. For companies to meet new rules that will nearly double average fuel economy by 2025, hybrids will have to play a much bigger role than they do now.
Oil prices briefly rose above $100 a barrel last week on news of a pipeline deal that would cut a glut of U.S. inventories. There are plans to reverse the flow of the Seaway pipeline. Prices have dipped since then, but not enough to soften historic highs for diesel or home heating oil.
The electric car was just as popular as its gasoline counterpart when it first went into production around the turn of the 20th century. But with the advent of highways, people wanted to go farther than their battery life allowed. Today's electric cars face similar challenges.
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