I understand that we currently have rather large fiends that are untapped. What is this push to open other areas except to give Exxon and the like more domain to choose from?
The problem is that the millions of acres currently leased to the oil companies have little to no oil in them making them unprofitable at best so why would the oil companies drill there? It's like telling someone to go into the desert in search of water, sure there's some oasis' out there but they are few and far between.
When I talk about alternatives, I am including internal combustion engine alternatives. Hydrogen, I agree, has clear infrastructure issues. But electricity have less so. And solar re-chargers for 12 volt systems are very effective.
So am I. The problem is that there simply isn't enough infrastructure in place or the alternatives aren't cost effective yet.
Compressed Natural Gas would be a great alternative to gasoline because there aren't many changes needed to the currently available cars (Honda has a CNG Civic currently available) the problem is that there aren't many fueling stations. However you can get something called a Phill to attach to your home natural gas line and use that to fuel your car it just takes 16 hours to go from empty to full.
Solar power on cars is possible but the current solar panels are rather expensive, although Toyota will be coming out with a car (I think a version of the prius) in either 2009 or 2010 that will have a solar panel on it to power the heating/air conditioning system in the car to increase fuel efficency.
And I completely agree the auto industry should really put out many more hybrid model cars (like one for every model car produced) as they are going to be of the most benefit in the short term.
My house in the mountains, for example, is solar powered and uses about 10 percent of its stored electric power on any given day. Each morning as the sun rises, the house batteries are recharged by 10 or 11 o'clock. A solar panel on top of a small electric car would do wonders toward recharging itself, reducing the impact on power plants. Current hybrid technology allows batteries to recharge while decelerating to stops. Add a panel or implant the car roof with our newest solar cells and we just might have something, especially for smaller cities and small towns.
That's awesome. Someday I would love to have a house that was off the grid completely, but at the moment I can't afford it. And I'm not so sure that current solar tech can be adapted to cars very easily. Part of the reason is that the solar panels on a house can be angled to capture the most available light depending on your lat/long location and the time of year, that would be hard to do on a car. Also the panels on a house tend to be rather large, they would have to be shrunk considerably to be viable on a car. Certainly something they should be research but it's not quite there yet.