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Think that plugging in your vehicle will protect the earth? Sure, this was the message that EPRI and the NRDC sent following a 2008 study that found that, if 60 percent of the U.S. fleet of light vehicles converted to plug-ins by 2050, CO2 emissions would drop by 450 million metric tons annually (the same as taking 82 million cars off the road) while electricity consumption would increase only eight percent.

The legacy of experimentation with alternative fuels to gasoline is nothing new. It started back in the earliest days of the car in the late 19th century. Alternatives to piston engines are also not new, although none but the Wankel rotary have had any notable commercial success. Starting back in the 1950s, there was a lot of interest in trying to run cars on turbine engines. Turbines had some inherent advantages,including high power density and, most importantly, the ability to run on virtually