The US Administration announced today that by 2016 US vehicle efficiency is to be raised to 39mpg for cars and 30mpg for light trucks/SUVs. These new efficiency levels will keep US motorists at least twenty years behind Europe in terms of automotive efficiency. Today's announcement (my emphasis in red):
"...simply allows the United States to match today’s European fleet efficiency (vehicles on the road now) some time after 2030." (NY Times/Lee Schipper)
US car buyers rather than the government need to create demand for ultra-efficient vehicles. A market solution which pushes efficiency aggressively and operates independent of oil price cycles is the vehicle efficiency market. A vehicle efficiency market is fully compatible with the goal of today's announcement - greater efficiency. However, a vehicle efficiency market uses a carrot rather than a stick.