The internal-combustion engine has served us well for more than 150 years, but even the most efficient examples today squander most of their energy as waste heat. Camless valvetrains and advances in materials technology will extend the relevance of vehicle powerplants that burn fuel within, yet it's a good bet that legislation, superior technology, or some combination of the two will push aside our machines that turn wheels using pistons, rotors, and turbines.

If the day comes that internal-combustion engines become a rarely seen novelty on the street, when do you think it will be?

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