Yes, things are changing, Chuck. However things change, there will still be increasing pressure for efficiency and alternative sources of energy. It seems these pressures are spurring a good deal of technological development.
Yes, it will be interesting to see what happens with the development a natural gas, Bobjengr. We have a number of busses where I love that are powered by natural gas. I understand it burns cleaner than oil, not sure by how much on a mile-by-mile comparison.
Public tranportation makes a lot of sense in some large urban areas, William K, but certainly not all. And probably not in a lot of suburban and rural areas. There's nothing worse than standing on a corner in January, waiting for a bus to show up. As in your case, it doesn't work for everyone.
Natural gas is a very good choice, since not only is the technology fairly mature and the hardware quite available, but also because there is a lot of natural gas available. We export natural gas, in fact.
The logistics of refueling would be a bit more complex, since those folks who can't work a gas pump properly would never be able to figure out the CNG connection, but gas fueled cars would be a good way to go. Couple them with a good start-stop engine control system and fuel consumption would drop a lot. Plus, the emissions would be reduced.
Of course, pumping up your tank at home could also be possible, with the right compressor, but those do cost a bit. Some folks might get upset about having a tank of pressurized gas in the car, but it should not be much of a hazard. It would probably be safer than the gasoline tanks because they would b smaller and much stronger. The challenge would be collecting our huge road taxes on gas pumped at home, since it is also used for heating.
Looks like Nissan Leaf owners don't like the range they're getting from these expensive battery-powered cars. Not only does this make no economic sense, little environmental sense (given the trade-offs), but it's becoming clearer that it makes no practical sense to drive an electric car.
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