There is no imminent purchase decision, but I did start thinking about this over the last month.  My car is a 2000, and will cross 100,000 miles soon, but it is more the $90/gallon and alternative energy thing that is taking up “brainwidth” lately.  In 2008/9 I should be able to get a decent electric/alternative energy car in without having to make it myself.

I remember when I was in grade school in the “Energy Crunch” of the early 70s that everyone was talking about solar/electric cars, and alternative/renewable energy.  Predictions were made that in 25 years (by 2000) we the family car would not run on gasoline and power plants would not run on coal (and robots would clean our houses (Roomba?) and farm our fields).  It seems like in the 80s and 90s we really dropped the ball after they found a number of huge oil deposits around the world and people started focusing more on the economy and national defense.  Google/Wikipedia tells me there is an interesting documentary I may need to get from the library.

But the social aspect isn’t really my point – I will be very disappointed if my next car isn’t an electric or alternative energy vehicle.  I am told I am the ideal candidate for an energy-efficient car.  I have a short commute, can park in a garage, don’t have to get above 50mph or travel more than 25-40 miles per day (seems to be a “sweet spot”).  We have the “family van” for longer trips and carrying more people and cargo.  So I should be in great shape for a cool efficient car.

But, I am “underwhelmed” by the current offerings and don’t see any great ideas on the horizon.  The Toyota Prius seems to be the “postercar” for this effort, but I really don’t like it (not sure why) and don’t have $100k for a Tesla (plus all the 2008 models are sold out).  According to a recent Wall Street Journal article it looks like 2011/2012 may be target years for the BigCos to come out with new models (don’t know if I can make it that long).  

Anyway, something interesting to watch out for – anyone else heard anything (suggestions?)?