CEO at leading parts supplier: "Energy independence...ultimately means that fuel has to be more expensive" It's no secret that when gas prices dropped early in the year and with the recession in full swing, hybrid sales saw their first drop in years. Faced with tough new fuel economy restrictions, auto executives had come up with all sorts of unusual suggestions -- such as cutting crash testing -- but now had to puzzle over a new dilemma; what if consumers don't want the higher-priced electric vehicles that they plan to start flooding the market with in less that a year? DailyTech - Auto Execs Urge Government to Tax Fuel up to $8/Gallon to Increase Fuel Efficiency At a special Reuters summit in Detroit, numerous auto industry executives are cited as suggesting that the government raise taxes on gasoline substantially to spur the adoption of fuel efficient vehicles. States Tim Leuliette, chief executive of privately held parts supplier Dura Automotive, "In the United States, we're afraid to touch the fuel price. We've got to continue to raise taxes in the United States so that, by the end of the next decade, gas is about $8 a gallon in today's terms." He adds, "What you have to do is do it in a manner that is slow enough and predictable enough that vehicle selection and choices by people over the cycle can be made in a logical way." Eight dollars-per-gallon gas? The idea certainly sounds absurd. However, the idea of the government pouring over $100B USD into the auto industry and partially nationalizing GM and Chrysler might have sounded ridiculous a decade ago too.