The Future Of The Car Is The Present

GM will soon unveil its SUV of the future – the 'plug-in' hybrid known as the Volt. Mitsubishi's new mini, all-electric car will soon go to market in Japan. The days of the gas-powered car are numbered- or are they?
September 18, 2008, 9am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"With all the glitzy ads, media chatter and Internet buzz about plug-in hybrids that draw power from the electric grid or cars fueled with hydrogen, it's easy to get lulled into thinking that gasoline stations soon will be as rare as drive-in theaters. The idea that auto makers can quickly execute a revolutionary transition from oil to electricity is now a touchstone for both major presidential candidates.

Ditching the internal-combustion engine could mean ditching the way of life that goes with it, and returning to an era in which more travel revolves around train and bus schedules, and more people live in smaller homes in dense urban neighborhoods.

That's the dream. Now the reality: This revolution will take years to pull off -- and that's assuming it isn't derailed by a return to cheap oil. Anyone who goes to sleep today and wakes up in five years will find that most cars for sale in the U.S. will still run on regular gas -- with a few more than today taking diesel fuel."

Thanks to Robert Piper

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Published on Monday, September 15, 2008 in The Wall Street Journal
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