The Tata Nano (pic) is a car that costs less new than the amount I've spent on gas during single car trips, recently announced to the auto market in India. The Chery QQ ^, successful , widely exported, and recognized as the Hostage Taker's Vehicle of Choice by China Car Times, is the runner-up for the world's cheapest car but is still approximately twice as expensive. Yes indeed, the price of gas is not going to come back down. So much for my coast-to-coast road trips. [more inside]
With gas prices rising, SUV sales (16-20 mpg city) have been declining. What are some alternatives for urban commuters? Prius (56 mpg) and other hybrid vehicles. SmartCar (50 mpg city; available in Canada, but not the US) and other microcars. Electric motor scooters and bicycles. Electric cars like the General Motors EV1 seem to be stalled, although people are working on a battery-powered SmartCar. What about hydrogen vehicles? In the medium term, MIT's Laboratory for Energy and the Environment doesn't think they'll outperform hybrids (full report). A comparison of fuel-cell and battery electric vehicles gets into some of the details of how they work.