Decades from now will the next big future
car be powered by hydrogen, electricity, biofuels or even nuclear
energy? Many people want to know the future of the future car.
Fuel Cell Future Cars
Perhaps the flying future car will be perfected
in our lifetimes. But, let's take future cars one by one to see
which is more likely to grace our highways and roadways a few
Hydrogen fuel cell cars are here
now and all the major automaker at least have one prototype
on the roads. The Honda FCX Clarity and Chevy Equinox
FCV are fuel cell future cars (pictured in order above)
that are here now being loaned or leased to multiple consumers.
Leading the Charge ...
The only current problem holding
hydrogen cars (which are in fact, electric cars) back
is the lack of adequate refueling infrastructure. At this
point in time, it looks like Germany and Japan will be
leading the charge in building this hydrogen refueling
infrastructure within their countries.
The battery electric car is also
a vehicle that is here now and has been for a while. Like
the hydrogen car, the electric car also lacks a viable
Tesla Roadster Electric Car
Couple this with
a short range before recharging and hours of recharge times
and the electric car isn't quite ready for prime time (although
Tesla, Fisker, Phoenix Motors and a few others will tell
Biofuel cars are also here and have been
for a while. Ever hear of someone running their diesel car or
truck on veggie oil? Yes, that is a biofuel. Gas stations in the
Midwest have been selling gasohol (10-percent ethanol and 90-percent
gasoline) for many years.
Most of the major automakers have some
form of flex fuel vehicle that has been rolled out to the public.
Many Brazilian cars run on 20 to 25-percent ethanol blends.
But, then what about nuclear-powered cars?
In 1958 the Ford Nucleon concept car was introduced to the public.
The Nucleon was
supposed to have been powered by a small nuclear reactor
in the back, but a prototype was never built.
There have been many people working on
nuclear powered cars or plasma powered cars but none has been
successful yet. But, just give it another 20 or so years and you
could be driving one to your future home.
Then what about future flying cars? The
Moller flying car (Moller Skycar - pictured below top) has been
in development for a while. It runs on diesel or biodiesel but
it isn't ready for primetime just yet.
The Terrafugia Transition
flying car (pictured bottom) has actually made a documented
flight but it is classified by the FAA as a light aircraft
and is much more of this than it is a car.
A couple of other notable attempts at
flying cars were the Waterman Aerobile and the Taylor Aerocar.
So, what future car holds the most merit?
It's hard to tell at this point. Each future car has it's own
strengths and weaknesses that must be overcome by innovation and
political will. With enough time the future car of tomorrow will
be the standard automobile of today.
Future Car Concepts
Written by Kevin Lepton