The car companies have screwed around for many decades now dragging their feet on developing fuel efficient cars and trucks. So it's finally caught up with them thanks to competition from other countries.
But I think we all suspect the government and oil companies have miraculous technologies that are locked away as national security threats that could hurt the oil industry.
Wouldn't it be great if the politicos forced the release of these hidden technologies, at least phasing them in over time so as not to disrupt existing systems...give them time to integrate or shift to the new technologies?
"Cars with internal combustion engines are, on average, 50 per cent more fuel-efficient than those built three decades ago. Yet the amount of gasoline they consume per kilometre has changed little. Despite increased use of lighter materials, the average car is roughly 270 kilograms heavier than in 1981.
It leaps from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in 9.5 seconds instead of 14. It comes equipped with air conditioning, air bags and electric motors to move windows, seats, mirrors and tailgates.
If the efficiency improvements had all gone into boosting fuel economy, the average American vehicle would already get 6.2 litres per 100 kilometres (38 miles per U.S. gallon). At that rate, there would be no reason for carmakers to fret about achieving the new U.S. standards – 7.8 litres by 2011 and 6.7 by 2020.
They'd match the Chinese fuel-economy regulation and be close to Europe's and Japan's. Instead, the average remains stuck at 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres, only marginally better than 1981. And almost all that modest gain came during the 1980s." - Source