I don’t know about you, but on a nice Spring day in 2008, I don’t have time to read 1,500 words about damn near anything, least of all “why” Detroit (and, kinda, Japan) hasn’t yet developed cars that can do 50 mpg. But, in the interest of getting paid, I did read this Newsweek piece that offers reason after laboured reason as to why Detroit isn’t good.
Reasons: Americans like big cars; Americans like fast cars; high mpg cars don’t go very fast; “extras” like sound-proofing and steel weigh cars down making them less mpg efficient; high mpg cars are by their very nature more expensive; Americans are cheap (even though gas is expensive).
So until Americans are cool with paying a little more up-front for a car in order to gain more than a few mpgs, you’ll be shelling out dollar after worthless dollar to fill up your tank. That’s one of the few advantages to living in NYC, no need for a car.