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Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Fareed Zakaria writes 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. Hybrid cars already can run on a battery and petroleum. "plug-in" hybrids is the next step,with powerful batteries that are recharged at night like laptops, cell phones and iPods. Ford, Honda and Toyota already make simple hybrids. Daimler Chrysler is introducing a plug-in version soon. 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. Ford, for example, makes a number of its models with "flexible-fuel tanks." (Forty percent of Brazil's new cars have flexible-fuel tanks.) Put all this technology together and you get the car of the future, a plug-in hybrid with a flexible-fuel tank.
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