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Future Cars

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.

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 years ahead.

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 recharging infrastructure.

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 you differently).

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.

Nucleon Concept

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