As difficult as it may be to believe, interest in alternative fuel vehicles actually pre-dates the launch of AutoblogGreen a little more than two years ago. Another fact that may be tough to swallow is that the BBC's Top Gear was not always the hour of silliness we see today with Clarkson, Hammond and May. In fact Top Gear's current format only began in 2002. Going back in time it had a more staid magazine style format with hosts such as William Woollard. Way back in 1990, Woollard did a pair of segments on alternative fuels and the threat of Global Warming from increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Watching these 18 year old segments, it seems not a lot has changed. Woollard looked at hydrogen with an early prototype of the BMW Hydrogen 7, methanol, CNG, solar powered EVs and even hybrids. The GM Impact, the precursor to the EV1, even makes a brief appearance while discussing battery electric vehicles. In that pre-lithium ion era, sodium sulfur batteries seemed to be one possible solution to range and weight problem of storing electrons. Although such batteries were tested by automakers, the high operating temperatures (up to 350 °C) limited their usefulness. Nonetheless, the similar Zebra batteries are still being evaluated today and used in some applications. Check out the videos after the jump. Thanks to Joseph for the tip!

[Source: YouTube]


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