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Pump prices didn't change driving habits

December 01, 2009
TOPICS: In the news
A year and a half ago, gasoline prices in Oklahoma were pushing $4, and many energy experts said those record prices would put an end to our love affair with the pick-up and SUV. It didn't.

Sure, Hummer sales have slipped, but the Environmental Protection Agency's annual Fuel Economy Trends report released last week shows it will take more than $4 per gallon to move the majority of Americans.

Cars bought by Americans in 2008 were only 0.4 miles per gallon more efficient than the previous year, while preliminary estimates for 2009 is for a mere 0.1 mpg improvement (although the early estimates tend to under report efficiency gains).

Add that to a recent analysis by the Associated Press that "cash for clunkers" funds went largely to replace old pickup trucks with new ones (for a fuel efficiency improvement of between 1 and 3 mpg) and one's is left wondering just how much financial pain it will take for drivers to change their habits?
 
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