An article published in the Wall Street Journal summarizes the positions each big automaker is taking to replace gasoline in our cars. The debate, which is being held during the Tokyo Auto Show is whether we should replace cars with hybrids or electrics.

On one side are Toyota and GM, which have tossed away their electric car projects to develop hybrids. However, they aren't following a common path on how and when. On the other side are Renault-Nissan and Honda. They affirm that electrics make more sense (environmentally, politically and economically) but don't rush to get your chequebooks: Lithium-ion technology needs to advance first in so that cost and overheating issues can be taken care of.

Even as the debate continues, none of the big automakers are going to stop making ICEs (Internal Combustion Engines) any time soon. They are, however, being pushed away from business-as-usual by EU and USA legislators who decrease their countries' oil bills. Then we have the initiatives in cities like Paris and London, where electric cars are exempt from hard taxes. Ghosn, the big boss at Nissan-Renault, forecast electric cars for 2012 and his counterpart Takeo Fukui at Honda expressed his skepticism about plug-in hybrids.

So, on which side are you?


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