Gas Is Dead? Maybe Not.

Detroit News writer Henry Payne takes a look at the anticipated demise of the gasoline engine, and opines that maybe it's a bit early to write the obit:

At this year’s Society of Automotive Engineer’s convention in Detroit, one forum debated the question: “The Gasoline Engine Is Dead. Or Is It?” Siemens executive Michael Crane answered matter-of-factly: “For the foreseeable future, the gasoline engine will continue to dominate.” At present, Crane pointed out, gas powers 90-percent of autos on the planet with its fossil-fuel cousin, diesel, feeding most of the remainder. Only in Brazil and South Africa, where governments have dictated national alternative energy programs, has that supremacy been challenged.

Gasoline’s 100-year reign is no fluke: It offers high energy density per pound (125,000 BTU/gallon) at low production cost, with a manageable supply infrastructure. And gas engine technology is ever-advancing.

Today’s gas engines are near zero-emission vehicles. “If I mow my lawn for one hour,” says Crane, “I’d produce more emissions than if I drove a new car from New York to Los Angeles.” So clean is Ford’s Durotech engine, for example, that it meets California’s zero-emissions standard along with the celebrated Toyota Prius hybrid.
He then goes on to consider various alternative technologies. Read the whole thing.