>Could this be the end of the gasoline powered engine or the personal automobile altogether? Maybe not, but there is a real shift in thought regarding the future of transportation. We all know that petroleum is a finite resource and with increased demand from China and India prices will undoubtedly go up. The threat of climate change also looms and some people are getting serious about addressing the causes of global warming. Obama had the right idea last night in his State of the Union address to Congress when he discussed the need for a high speed rail system in densely populated areas around the country. As long as there are efficient public transportation systems in the cities which will eventually be connected by these rail systems, one might not even need a car when traveling between destinations. Wouldn’t that be nice.
However, Americans do like their cars. So much so that car manufacturers are investing great time and treasure in the future of the private automobile post petroleum. GM recently announced a $246 million program to build smaller and more efficient electric motors for hybrid vehicles expected to hit the road by 2013 – www.treehugger.com. This comes on the heals of the new Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Roadster as well as other electric and hybrid electric vehicles from nearly every car manufacturer out there. This is a second life for the electric vehicle which was first killed back in the early 90’s. Second time’s a charm. It’s got to be. We don’t have time for a third.