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With all the attention being lavished on electric cars, you'd think the salvation of the planet is nigh at hand. But don't be duped by all the EV hype. It's going to take decades before they catch on – if ever.

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Nobody reading this blog needs to be told how much trouble Detroit is in. Whether it's the Detroit Three, the city of Detroit, or the greater Detroit area, the story's the same: we're in trouble!

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Autoblog has followed the developments at Carbon Motors ever since the start-up unveiled its new police cruiser a year and a half ago. And while the car looks impressively good, what makes this company worth watching goes well beyond the product. Carbon has come up with a business model that could let it carve out a profitable chunk of the automotive market that, up to now, was always controlled by major car companies.

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Today at 12:00PM EST, John McElroy of Autoline Daily is hosting a special live webcast with guest Ford Motor Co. Chief Economist Ellen Hughes-Cromwick. She and John will be discussing her forecast for the American economy and outlook on the automotive market. We've embedded the live webcast after the jump, as viewers will be able to participate in the discussion, submitting comments and questions throughout the hour-long chat. Follow the jump to join the discussion.

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To hear Ford's CTO tell it, all these painful layoffs and budget cuts going on at the company can actually be beneficial. "It gets you really focused on what's really necessary," says Gerhard Schmidt, the Chief Technology Officer at Ford.

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