The less fuel used to travel more miles should have the happy benefit of being less polluting, kinder to the planet, less of a drain on resources. This is a wonderful byproduct of chasing better MPG! I am pleased that my car is eco friendly, but if I could have an old 2 litre '90s diesel tweaked to give me 80,90+ mpg every time, I d trade my zero Road tax Hyundai in for it! There's and old VW Lupo on here, a rogue one publishing over 100 mpg averages, it's a 1.2 and would be dirtier than mine, but i'd swap for one.
OK, lets take it one step farther- electric cars. Zero emissions and they are marketed that way by the manufacturers. I can guarantee you that the people who are buying those aren't buying them for the economy. Take a look at Tesla and the people who buy them. I don't think someone dropping $79,000+ for a S model are worried about economy. Have a look at their website: Model S | Tesla Motors What's the first feature that they are selling? Zero emissions.
You and other members from the UK keep going on and on about your emissions road taxes and how it was one of their factors in buying the model of the car they own. Don't give me that BS that people don't buy cars based on emissions.
Let's agree to disagree.
Tesla is actually marketing the zero emissions with no compromised. Depending on where you plugged in, a hybrid can emit less overall than a Model S. You just have to be okay with getting a car with a polarizing design, giving up trunk space, and/or below average performance.
Compared to other $80 grand cars that the person could have bought, the S supplies the luxury goods, greater cargo space, higher efficiency, and better performance. Being zero emissions also gets a buyer in its biggest market, California, a HOV sticker. For those getting it for environmental reasons, it is more about getting off petroleum than the car's individual emissions.
Unless there is an incentive tied to lower emissions, be it HOV access or lower fees, most people don't care about their car's emissions. It can be on their list of qualities to consider, but will lose out to seat comfort in the end. I was more interested in the first Prius than the first Insight at the time because it was SULEV vs. ULEV, but I know I am not the norm, and most would choose the Prius for the rear seat.