Cars – it’s back to the future

26 Jun 2014

1000px-SIGN_OF_THE_PAST_IS_THIS_ABANDONED_GASOLINE_PUMP_WITH_A_PRICE_OF_29.9_CENTS_PER_GALLON._THE_COST_OF_FUEL_HAS_MADE..._-_NARA_-_555508When I was growing up, there was leaded gasoline and that is what fueled cars. Some 60-70 years before that, when the automobile was new, there were many different kinds of fuels – steam, gasoline, diesel and even electric.   Now we have diesel, unleaded, E85, natural gas, biodiesel, battery powered and hybrids.

Even more interesting are the reports that Toyota will be introducing a long-anticipated hydrogen fuel cell powered car where the only byproduct would be water. I remember President Bush touting this as the fuel of the future some 8 or more years ago.  It will be interesting to see if he turns out to be right.

Either way, battery powered cars and/or hybrids are “picking up steam.”  Lincoln is offering the hybrid MKZ for the same price as it gasoline powered version. Elon Musk is working on a gigantic factory to drive down the price of lithium ion batteries for his Tesla electric cars. Finally, we are reading about a new aluminum-air battery which may allow a car to go up to 1,000 miles on a single charge.  Now that would be a giant leap forward. Not quite Doc Brown’s “Mr. Fusion” or the Jetsons’ flying car but we’re getting there.

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