The answer, of course,is to trash those stupid CAFE standards.
Yes, there is no plug-in market. Chevy is creating that market with the Volt. Toyota did the same thing with the Prius back in the day. They sold Pri at a loss so that they could get them on the road and create a market for them. Look at it today, millions have been sold.
You say that consumers don’t want high efficiency vehicles? Bull. If the car is fast, reliable, and handles well then efficiency is a nice bonus. It is the cost for the batteries that keep the price for the Volt high. Once batteries get cheaper the Volt will take off. More Volts are sold each month that the previous month.
Trash those stupid CAFE standards? Fine, then watch gas reach $7 a gallon and complain about gas prices. We are past peak oil production, we are headed downward and we have to (or get to) adapt to that.