The National Research Council stated in a report that the U.S. could reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80 percent by 2050 in cars and trucks. According to said report, the lofty goal is attainable through the use of more efficient vehicles with biofuels, electricity, and hydrogen. A good start would be improvements to current technology, including existing hybrids such as the Toyota Prius and plug-in hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt. Also, there are some EVs that certainly need more range and infrastructure to become viable to the everyday consumer.
Other automakers like Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai are betting on hydrogen fuel cell technology to help carry the way. It is sad to say that even the report concurs that it is nearly impossible to determine which technologies will succeed and which will fail. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced earlier that 2012 model year vehicles will have the highest ever average fuel economy of 23.8 mpg, which certainly shows automakers are on the right path.
“To reach the 2050 goals for reducing petroleum use and greenhouse gases, vehicles much become dramatically more efficient, regardless of how they are powered,” said Douglas M. Chapin, principal of MPR Associates and chairman of the committee that wrote the report.