Perhaps, 20 or 30 years from now, most automobiles on the roads in the US, Europe, and Japan will be plug-in-hybrid vehicles mostly powered by electricity and highly efficient methanol fuel cells rather than by gasoline or ethanol internal combustion engines. Our cars would no longer be dependent on petroleum fuel. Instead, our automobiles would be powered by non-carbon dioxide polluting electricity from nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and biowaste and by synthetic carbon neutral methanol derived from urban and rural biowaste or from methanol produced at nuclear power plants utilizing hydrogen from water electrolysis and CO2 from air extraction devices.
But even more provocatively, I believe that most of those future automobiles could also be fully automated. In other words, our cars could become our first popular domestic robot servants, our chauffeurs! Could you imagine using your cell phone to order your car to pick you up at work and then driving you home while you take a short nap in the back seat (You had a long day!). And once you arrived at your house, you might hear an automated voice saying "Dave, we're home. We're home Dave."
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US Energy Information Administration
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