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Higher Gasoline Prices Would Drive Electric and Hybrid Sales and Help Infrastructure

In a case of Captain Obvious, higher gasoline and fuel prices often lead to the sales of more fuel-efficient cars like hybrids and fully-electric vehicles. Also, water is wet. With a new administration coming into office soon, automotive OEMs are looking at this chance to have some influence over future automotive policy in the United States. Ford is allegedly going to ask President Trump to cut fuel economy rules.

I’m sure that Ford won’t be the only automaker making a push once January 20th rolls around. It’s true that hybrid, electric, and small car sales are suffering with the cheap fuel prices we currently have. In the case of Ford, their most profitable line of vehicles in the Ford F-Series (F-150, Super Duty). While they achieve relatively good fuel economy, they aren’t as efficient as a Ford Fusion Energi.

Until President-elect Trump takes office, we aren’t sure what’s actually going to happen with agencies like the EPA. Any new law would have to weave its way through Congress before the President would have any say in the matter. There is a lot of uncertainty right now.

If the status quo is maintained regarding fuel economy, there are other ways the government could help drive the sale of these alternative fuel vehicles. Scott Burgess notoriously proposed increasing the gas tax. It’s raise the cost of fuel and the additional money earned could be earmarked specifically for infrastructure improvements to fix our roads and bridges. Many of those roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair.

This additional work would create good paying American jobs, something that President-elect Trump has pledged to create ever since deciding he was going to run for office. This option allows the nation to work towards a common fuel economy standard while still putting more people to work. It sounds like a “win/win” to me.

About Chad Kirchner

Chad Kirchner is the Editor-in-Chief of Future Motoring, along with the main host and producer of the Future Motoring podcast. In addition to his work here, he’s a freelance automotive journalist for outlets around the world.

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