The alternatives to oil
Oil is currently the main source of fuel for cars, but further research and development of alternative energies in the future may change that. Various powertrains, such as those found in plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric and fuel cell cars, will be required in order to use these diversified types of fuel. Although demand for alternatives to oil, such as gas fuels, electricity and hydrogen, continues to grow, each of these energy sources have their own disadvantages.
And although powering a motor with electricity is much more efficient than an internal combustion engine, liquid fuels such as gasoline are still at an advantage because of their energy density. Even with the latest lithium ion battery technology, it only produces one fiftieth of the energy produced by gasoline.
The cost of batteries also poses a major challenge. In an effort to attain the 2030 Innovative Technology Plan issued by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, we have barely reached the status to be at a competitive level with gasoline powered vehicles.