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According to some numbers crunched by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), weight ratios in modern cars are creating a giant problem with overall efficiency. Car weights are climbing, but passenger loads aren't, and this is the truly limiting factor when it comes to energy efficiency.

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At what point does a car cease to be a car and start becoming a people-mover? One survey hints that we're less than two decades away from that eventuality. Whether auto enthusiasts think that's a good thing is another matter altogether.

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Every year, IEEE Spectrum puts together a list of the best and worst technologies and it turns out that two of 2009's biggest losers are the Chevrolet Volt and cellulosic ethanol. What earned these two a place alongside D-Wave Systems' quantum computers and airport security? Too much hype, too many promises and too much money.

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Ride and Drive at last year's EDTA Conference.

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