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Crystal Ball Gazing

Massive changes are happening in the motor industry right now, so can you imagine what it’s going to be like in twenty years time?

We asked three of our staff members what they thought the likely trends could be.

Their thoughts varied from all-electric cars to plastic engines and a China/India domination.

Click here to read the full article. If you disagree or have any other thoughts to add we’d love to hear from you, so please add your comments below


  1. Ross Bateup says:

    Hi Guys
    The site tells it all and youtube already have a video of a car that has been made with totaly run by Air compressed all they were waiting on was a self air compressing car

    March 9th, 2010 at 9:28 am

  2. Bill says:

    It will all depend on cost and regulations. Electric cars are great, but if we have to plug them in, they will consume electricity, which unless there is a big paradigm shift, will be powered by still by carbon generating means, eg. oil, gas, coal. There needs to be a more efficient solar panel design to get more out of it and perhaps even new nuclear technology (fusion not fission) to really get the most out recharging our cars.

    There is also the fact that many people don’t have garages and infrastructure for charging stations will have to built on a large scale. I would also say there would have to be a large jump in battery technology as well. Just image if you forget to charge your car or you have a blackout, you won’t be able to go anywhere with an electric vehicle then. The range would have to be similar or close to what we have for vehicles today, at least 300km on one full charge at minimum.

    I would guess in 20 years time we’ll be using a lot more hybird technology with clean much more efficient diesel being the main source of current engine tech coupled with more efficient electric tech.

    Switching away completely from fossil fuels will be an evolutionary change over the next 50-100 years.

    And yes, lightweight stronger materials and definitely more manufacturing from China and India will be part of that evolutionary process.

    March 9th, 2010 at 10:08 am

  3. Alan says:

    I foresee an aerial future~~ no folks, not individuals growing wings but personal transport becoming airborne and electro-magnetic powered. Revolutionary thought changes the world and we need world-scale rethnking of Transport. Aerial advantages are innumerable: No footprint squandered in endless lines all over the terrain, freeing-up vast acreages of arable land for human habitation, food production, widerness, recreation etc. Sales- Service -storage of PAT (personal aerial transport) will consume a small fraction of the space on earth that is currently devoted to the car. Our PAT garage will probably migrate into our Loft, under-roof! Same for visits to the Shops, where Malls may Park PATS on shelf-platforms attached like leaves on branches to the sides of the buildings. No maintenance of Roads; no need for Motorway construction; abundant natural environments surround our homes and cities with extensive walkways-cycleways-electro-mag ground transport corridors for recreational enjoyment or the occasional Museum demonstration area where the ancient and aberrated Transport systems of the 19th and 20th centuries are displayed for the curiosity and educational purposes. Yes folks, its hard to believe but true, we as humans clung-on to an absurdly inefficient heat-engine (internal combustion engine) and applied it to Transport for over 125 years! Incredible, you say? Now in 2030 we all see the folly of our predecessors Way.

    March 9th, 2010 at 10:24 am

  4. Bruce Robinson says:

    Global oil shortages, Peak Oil, are like to have an enormous impact on the motor industry. CSIRO’s Future Fuel Forum had one scenario of $8/litre by 2018, if Peak Oil occurs within five years (as is quite probable), and if all the promised alternatives and more efficient cars do not miraculously happen.

    A car being bought now is very likely to still be on the road when Peak Oil arrives. Peak Oil is the time when the rate of the world’s oil production reaches its maximum and then starts the inevitable final decline phase. My estimate is at circa 2012 (+/- 5 years). Preparing in advance for fuel shortages, rationing and very high prices is likely to be a valuable precaution.

    Bruce Robinson
    Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil

    March 9th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

  5. Etica says:

    Well petrol has been a convenient tax source for General revenue.
    Government will need to bring in a breathing tax to compensate, for more efficient cars.
    Oops…..wasn’t that what the Emissions Trading Scheme was all about.

    March 9th, 2010 at 2:10 pm

  6. Steve hathaway says:

    Whatever new technology is used one thing is clear the old internal combustion engine has had it’s day. Regardless of the environmental issues – the design is over acentury old- we need Asia-pacific, the US & Europe to work on a 21st century equivalent of the “Manhatten Project” (google it) to urgently develop an alternative, the current auto makers and fuel companies need to be on-board – they will still have a business – the advantage is that we will no longer be held to ransom and see all our hard-earned beeing squandered by the OPEC nations to build artificial islands and Ski-slopes in the middle of the desert. Peak Oil is here the time for action is NOW.

    March 9th, 2010 at 8:21 pm

  7. Philip says:

    Yes Alan (comment 2) I agree. The folly of Electric is that it is no big benefit unless we also have solar for the car charge & Geothermal or Nuclear for base load. On-board energy storage and energy efficiency are the key to future success.. So will direct electricity storage (Battery) or Hydrogen (fuel cell) be the dominant technology? The battle has just started…

    March 9th, 2010 at 11:00 pm