Replacing a car that gets horrible gas mileage with one that gets good gas mileage is preferable to replacing a car that gets good gas mileage with one that gets excellent gas mileage. To that end, kottke.org contributor Cliff Kuang says to the car companies: forget about 100-mpg cars and focus on small, achievable increases in MPG ratings.
My concern is a rhetorical one: What happens when advancements in cars are eternally linked — through marketing and special prizes — with big innovations, rather than tangible results right now? Fuel efficiency gets its urgency sapped: Someone’s working on it, with results TBD. Wait and see.