A Glimpse of the Alternative Fuel Future
by Matthew L. Wald (New York Times) …While a variety of new fuel technologies are advancing, policy makers can be assured that the internal combustion engine will remain dominant for decades, the National Petroleum Council told the Department of Energy on Wednesday in a report.
…But at a briefing by the council, one member, William Reinert, the national manager in charge of the advanced technology group for Toyota’s American sales unit, put it bluntly. “Internal combustion engines are likely to be the dominant propulsion system for decades to come,’’ he said. Hybrids like his company’s Prius and vehicles running on natural gas, diesel or cellulosic biofuels have internal combustion engines at their heart, he pointed out.
The panel said that substantial increases in vehicle efficiency were possible but that total energy use was likely to grow because the number of miles driven by Americans would increase by 60 to 80 percent. (Note: the study was based on the assumptions of the Energy Department’s 2010 annual energy outlook, which appeared before the recent downturn in vehicle miles traveled became clear.) READ MORE Download Report