Essentially, the automakers are trying to figure out how to please the government and the public at a cost that allows them to stay in business. Competing -- and expensive -- technologies are all in the race now, although everyone seems to have agreed that ultimately, electric cars will be the norm. Luxury carmakers can pad prices to cover or subsidize the tab of frugal technology. When the mid- and low-price automakers are making cars that get 80 mpg that the average couple can afford, then the landscape will be much more clear.
No matter what, none of this spells the end of the internal combustion engine: said VW's head of group research, "It is important to recognize that there is not a single solution, and that the internal-combustion engine will continue to dominate for at least 20 years." Follow the link to read the full piece, and you might want to start stocking up on multi-plug outlets... Thanks for the tip, Forrest!
[Source: The Economist]