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Page added on May 31, 2007

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Alternative Fuel Vehicles Will Be Tough Sell

Imagine a vehicle that runs on hydrogen or biofuels and offers the same features, performance and price as today’s gasoline vehicle. Will it capture half the market? Not likely, concludes a new MIT analysis of the challenges behind introducing alternative-fuel vehicles to the marketplace. Not even if it’s three times more fuel-efficient.


Among the barriers: Until many alternative fuel (AF) vehicles are on the road, people won’t consider buying one-so there won’t be many on the road. Catch-22.

The researchers’ conclusions are not all gloomy, though. If policy incentives are kept in place long enough, adoption will reach a level at which the market will begin to grow on its own. But “long enough” may be a surprisingly long time.


Given today’s environmental pressures and energy security concerns, we need to move away from fossil-fuel-powered vehicles. But repeated attempts to introduce other technologies during the past century have nearly all failed. Dethroning the gasoline-consuming internal combustion engine (ICE) has proved difficult.


Science Daily



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