Time to Kick the Internal Combustion Habit

A range of options will emerge as motorists pick between 'plug-in' electric cars, longer-range petrol-electric 'hybrids', or simply downsized, more efficient petrol and diesel models.

Published: 25-Jun-2008

London - With oil prices near $140 (about R1 126) a barrel, motorists are starting to look seriously at both alternative fuels and electric vehicles as a way to be able to keep driving.

But experts say it will take five to ten years for these alternatives to take root, given the capacity challenge for an auto industry that is adding 65-million new cars a year to a fleet of one billion.

In the meantime, car and parts makers, oil companies and even electricity generators are left guessing which way motorists will turn and what technology will win.


The Cadillac Provoq fuel cell concept uses GM's E-Flex propulsion system, combining the new fifth-generation fuel cell system and a lithium-ion battery to produce an electrically driven vehicle that uses no petroleum and has no emission other than water.

Powered by a 100 kW electric engine and fuel cell stack, the i-Blue is capable of running more than 370 miles per refueling and achieves a maximum speed of more than 100 miles per hour.

Based on the full-size 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 HD pickup truck, the vehicle underwent extensive internal modifications to meet the technical demands and requirements needed to run on a compressed hydrogen fuel system.


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