This weirdness happens every time gas prices fall significantly:
Falling gas prices have made big, heavy cars fashionable again, said Michael Sivak, the director of sustainable worldwide transportation at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. In fact, demand for trucks, S.U.V.s and vans has rebounded to historic levels after they dropped sharply in 2008, when gas was $4 a gallon.
“People have very short memories about the price of gasoline,” Dr. Sivak said.
That spells trouble for the environment. So-called light-duty vehicles, including S.U.V.s and pickups as well as cars, account for 16.2 percent of all greenhouse emissions produced in the United States, Dr. Sivak’s research shows, making them the biggest source of emissions that individuals control. ...
A preference for big cars is not going to help the country reach the goals outlined in the Paris climate accord, reached in December. To help reach those goals, average fuel economy would need to soar to at least 100 miles per gallon — most likely achievable only through widespread adoption of electric and other zero-emission cars, according to Ben Haley, a co-founder of Evolved Energy Research, a consulting firm.
President Obama has pushed for stronger federal fuel-economy rules that call for cars to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025; the current average is 25.4 miles per gallon.
I say weirdness because you would think you'd buy a car with expected gas price over the lifetime of the car, instead of the minimum gas price, as part of the decision. Even for those who a car is a short-term decision, buying big when gas prices are high and selling when gas prices are low (surplus) is a money loser too.
Blah, blah, blah: Instead of new CAFE standards, President Obama should push for a more economically efficient higher gas tax. And to prevent changes in the demand for cars (the dog) when gas prices fall (the tail), the tax could vary inversely with the baseline price.
Hat tip: twitter