Zero-Emission Cars: A Battle Among Technologies

Honda still thinks hydrogen fuel cells have a future, while Nissan is betting on battery electric cars.

Published: 03-Sep-2009

Q'Orianka Kilcher has never pumped a gallon of gasoline into her car. Never. Then again, she's never owned a car that needed gasoline. You could say she is at ground zero of the ZE, or zero-emission, vehicle future.

A 19-year-old actress living in Santa Monica, Calif. (she played Pocahontas in the 2005 movie The New World), Q'Orianka (pronounced Quor-ee-anka) is on her second hydrogen-fuel-cell car, a Honda FCX Clarity, a four-door with a 200-mile range. "I don't think I will ever buy a gas car," she says. "I can go everywhere I want to go with this. Plus, it's a guy magnet." (See the history of the electric car.)

Auto-marketing gurus take note: the brave new world of ZE cars is here, ready or not, and please make them sexy.


TREV two-place electric car

Student-built vehicle can do 0-60 in 10 seconds with top speed of 75 mph. Photo courtesy of University of South Australia.

Its fully electric E6 and plug-in hybrid electric F6DM will hit the market in Israel in 2009, well ahead of the appearance of GM’s Chevy Volt.

Chairman of TATA Motors Ratan Tata, along with Managing Director Ravi Kant, look at their Electrical Vehicle Indica EV, at Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers' (SIAM) 48th Annual convention 2008 in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI photo.


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