Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria uses his current column to call for an immediate US policy focus on plug-ins and biofuels.
Beneath the din lies a little-noticed reality—the solution is already with us. Over the last five years, technology has matured in various fields, most importantly in semiconductors, to make possible cars that are as convenient and cheap as current ones, except that they run on a combination of electricity and fuel. Hybrid technology is the answer to the petroleum problem.
You can already buy a hybrid car that runs on a battery and petroleum. The next step is ”plug-in“ hybrids, with powerful batteries that are recharged at night like laptops, cell phones and iPods.
In many states in the American Middle West you can buy a car that can use any petroleum, or ethanol, or methanol—in any combination.
Put all this technology together and you get the car of the future, a plug-in hybrid with a flexible-fuel tank.
Some of his data and facts are a bit off, but the sentiment is right. Act now, with conviction and focus, and we can achieve what needs to be done.