A couple share-worthy items while we're in the calm hurricane eye:
We should stop trying to design a techno-magic "car for the future." It really won't end our oil addiction or save us from climate change. At least not until we've done the dull and unsexy work of boosting fuel economy at the bottom of the fleet, where it matters far, far, far more.
You save more fuel switching from a 15 to 18 mpg car than switching from a 50 to 100 mpg car. So here's my new policy proposal. While CAFE standards (fleet averages) are groovy, what we really need to do is simply outlaw vehicles that get below, say, 15 or 18 mpg.
He does the math. Assume 15,000 mils a year. Going from 15 mpg to 20 mpg saves 250 gallons (15,000/15=1000, 15,000/20=750). But going from 35 to 40 mpg only saves 54 gallons (15,000/35=429, 15,000/40=375).
Of course, there's different kinds of 15 mpg cars: brand new armor-plated Hummers driven by rich people, and old beaters driven by poor people.