The cash for clunkers program has had a small effect on our national mpg. The vehicles turned in were below the national average, and those bought were above the national average, so the average has gone up a little bit. Now what remains to be seen is how much (if at all) vehicle-miles-travelled increases since it’s easier to drive a lot when gas is cheap (which it is when you have a suddenly more efficient vehicle). An MIT study estimates that every 10% increase in fuel economy is offset 2% by an increase in driving more.
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