Doug Vining Perhaps GM read this one?

E-Flex, according to General Motor’s Chairman, Rick Wagoner, is a car that has a 100% electric drivetrain, and gets its electricity from a variety of sources - including an on-board internal combustion driven electric generator. Today, January 7th, 2007, General Motors unveiled the serial hybrid car, or the electric car that uses diverse sources for its electricity.
Posted: 10 January 2007 at 09:09

Neil Jacobsohn Tax Credits for Plug-In Hybrids?

MIT Techynpology Review: Thursday, March 01, 2007
Washington's growing interest could help make plug-in hybrids more affordable. The payoff: 150 miles per gallon.

Posted: 5 March 2007 at 20:50

Doug Vining Toyota unveils fuel-cell car

Toyota Motor Corp. unveiled an upgraded fuel-cell vehicle that successfully completed a 350-mile test run Friday, proving its ability to run a longer distance than its earlier model.

The latest model could have gone 480 miles with a single fueling, more than double the mileage achieved by Toyota's earlier model, the company said in a statement.
Posted: 10 October 2007 at 15:37

Doug Vining Will Honda build it first?

Honda has begun the first commercial production ever of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car.

The Japanese auto manufacturer ceremoniously launched production of its first hydrogen-powered vehicles on Sunday in Tochigi, Japan, and announced its first customers.
Posted: 18 June 2008 at 07:17

Doug Vining A car for the Green Century

Who will build the car for the future? I don't think it's been done yet, despite the hype and skepticism surrounding various hybrid and electric models.

Will Tesla rise to the challenge, or will Toyota beat them to the punch? Would you put your money on David or Goliath?
A FuturesForum post (titled: "A car for the Green Century") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:
Posted: 27 January 2011 at 12:01

Doug Vining Energy abundance

Shale gas released by fracking has transformed the economics of energy in the United States. This is the equivalent of a Black Swan - the industry will never be the same again. Not that it is all plain sailing; the Economist says there is an over-supply and some consolidation among producers is inevitable.

What I find amazing is that the US still imports $1 billion of oil per day, even when natural gas is 50 times cheaper in energy terms. Of course, that's because they don't have an easy way to convert from diesel or gasoline to gas. But Sasol has proven gas-to-liquid technology that is adept at converting natural gas to liquid fuels like ultra-clean diesel. The opportunity for them in America, given the current surplus of gas, is immense.

Perhaps the flex-fuel vehicle scenario in this MindBullet could materialize in the US first!
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Posted: 6 May 2012 at 19:53

Doug Vining The electric future of Tesla Motors

I've generally been of the opinion that an all-electric car is a bit of a fad. I call it the electric Kool-Aid marketing myth. It's great for specific applications, like forklifts and golf carts, and for inner city commutes, but the idea of the electric vehicle becoming the default mode of private transport is unlikely in my opinion.

I wish all success to Elon Musk, for whom I have great admiration. His SpaceX endeavours are magnificent. If Tesla can get sufficient traction among the well-heeled green consumers, it can probably thrive, but it will never be "the people's car." That is more likely to be a toss-up between Toyota and Volkswagen.
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Posted: 15 August 2012 at 09:39

Doug Vining Fuel cell cars of the future

I can't help feeling that this article from the Economist simply reinforces the view suggested by the MindBullet below. The electric car has been the focus of much hype and debate recently, but remains a fringe product in its current incarnation, with little hope of becoming an affordable mass-market vehicle in the short term.

I have long been punting the idea that electric cars need more than a rechargeable battery - they need some sort of power source, and fuel cells are the obvious way to go. But I disagree that hydrogen is the best fuel. It has to be manufactured at great cost in energy terms and is extremely difficult to handle. Although great strides have been made in hydrogen fuel cell technology, I'm sceptical that it will end up in hydrogen powered vehicles buzzing around the towns and country.

What has happened to methanol fuel cell development? I still think that methanol, or better yet, synthetic diesel offers the chance of a radically innovative vehicle becoming a mainstream option. But no-one seems to be pursuing it.
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Posted: 20 February 2013 at 10:19

Anton Musgrave 314 mpg? Oil companies must be worried!

Imagine a car that consumes minimal fuel...looks cool too? VW's latest idea may just be the start of a new generation of ultra fuel efficient vehicles. It will change the business models and dynamics of an entire industry.
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Posted: 27 February 2013 at 09:10

Doug Vining 314 mpg? Oil companies must be worried!

I think Volkswagen missed a trick here. They should use this as an opportunity to re-launch the Beetle as a two-door rear-engine bubble car with a plastic body. Light on fuel and inexpensive to own. A real people's car!
Posted: 27 February 2013 at 16:59

Doug Vining Toyota's car of the Future

What's your pick for a brand that will epitomise the car of the future? Eight years ago we suggested that Toyota was best placed to take a leadership position with mass market hybrid fuel cell vehicles. The timeline for that scenario was 2014.

Since then Tesla has wowed the market with their all-electric cars; Audi, BMW, even GM and Ford are making great strides in adopting the latest tech to make their cars more efficient, greener, and of course intelligently connected. Google is currently leading the field with self-driving cars, but for how long?

Now we have this announcement that Toyota will be rolling out its FCV next year. It certainly looks futuristic, but we don't know much about how it operates.

I'm sure that ultimately, fuel cells will play a greater part in auto transport. Whether they will use hydrogen or some other liquid fuel, as we speculated in this MindBullet, remains to be seen.
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Posted: 9 January 2014 at 15:01

Doug Vining The car for the future

The car of the future has arrived, and it's not a Lexus, as this MindBullet suggested it might be.

But then, this MindBullet was written before Tesla even had a production sedan. :-)
A FuturesForum post (titled: "The car for the future") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:
Posted: 5 October 2015 at 12:42
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