- The car fleet of 2030 will use a patchwork quilt of different fuels and power trains, with some cars meant for short hops and city driving.
- As the years go by, vehicles will become increasingly connected to one another electronically,
for crash prevention and social networking. Driver distraction will be an ongoing concern.
- Whether cars that run on hydrogen fuel cells will be common in 20 years remains an open question.
For a glimpse into what automobiles will be like 20 years from now, contributing editor Stuart F. Brown conducted a group interview with executives at General Motors, Tesla Motors and Toyota and also spoke separately with a program manager at the Electric Power Research Institute. The interviewees, whose comments have been edited for length, foresee increased communication among cars and a combination of vehicle types. Some, like Tesla’s current sports cars, will draw their energy from a battery pack. Others, in common with today’s Toyota’s Prius and the 2010 Chevy Volt, will be hybrid designs, relying on both electric motors and small internal-combustion engines. Many forthcoming hybrids will charge batteries by plugging into the electric grid, and hydrogen fuel cells might be a reality. But that is not all that the participants see. Read on.
This article was originally published with the title The Future of Cars.