Every day we hear about amazing advances in sustainable fuel and fuel alternatives, so much so that it’s hard to imagine that these technologies wouldn’t be huge drivers of change in the 21st Century. But if you’ve been dreaming about electric cars taking charge of the roads any time soon, the U.S. Department of Energy may de-fuel your hopes of this acceleration.
In a shocking report, the government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) is predicting that the majority of vehicles sold in the year 2040 will still be powered by gasoline! According to the Annual Energy Outlook 2014, a mind-boggling 78% of light-duty vehicles sold will still be powered by gasoline engines a quarter century from now, compared to just 1% plug-in hybrids and 1% full electric vehicles. So what’s with the lack of progress in the forecast?
Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Report
Apparently large manufacturers would prefer not to drastically alter their automobile fleets any time soon. Rather, they prefer to develop gasoline engines that are more efficient. The EIA predicts that 42% of gasoline-powered cars will be micro hybrids that feature more fuel efficient stop-start technology along with a regenerative braking feature. The committee also predicts ethanol will be used in 11% of new light-duty automobile engines. The good news is that the overall fuel efficiency of these micro hybrids is projected to rise from 21.5 miles per gallon in 2012 to 37.2 mpg by 2040.
Despite these improvements, the general lack of progress in the predicted future automotive industry will surely have environmentalists losing sleep. But we’ll leave you with a glimpse of hope: perhaps these future gasoline-fueled engines could lean more heavily on bio-diesels than even the EIA gave credit for. Just the other day scientists discovered a breakthrough process which quickly turns algae into the very same crude oil used to run cars!
via The Verge