Stop burning gasoline, almost.
~ Paul Kruger, www.reelectnoone.com
America's dependence on fossil fuels to move us around began with internal combustion powered cars. Fuel was cheap. We practically stole it from the Arabs until they wised up, now they control how much we pay for fuel.
Other fuels have been proposed, primarily by people with a vested interest in the source of those fuels, but each option leaves us burning fuel and tying us to someone else's infrastructure to obtain those fuels.
It is a basic law of physics. If we want to move something we have to input energy. Moving a car requires an input of energy, period. However physics does not care what we use as a source of energy.
Burning fuel is not very efficient with today's technologies. The internal combustion engine can only go so far. While it is true it has gone farther in other countries in terms of mileage than it has been allowed to go here in America, there are limits. Burning fuel is a dead end, not just because of the costs and inefficiencies of the technology, but because of the ecological consequences of exhaust emissions.
Hydrogen is hyped by the Bush administration to favor it's big oil interests. A hydrogen fueled car is just an electric car with a generator ( fuel cell ) that burns hydrogen. There are numerous problems with the concept, not the least of which is an almost total lack of places you can buy hydrogen fuel. I know of one I have personally seen on the West side of Washington DC near the RFK Stadium. Who would build this infrastructure to fuel our millions of hydrogen cars? Big Oil of course. We remain tied to the same people who helped bring us $4.00 per gallon fuel. Oh, and the hybrid is almost a hundred years old too. Google the Owen Magnetic, gas motor driving a generator to power the car, circa 1915.
Ethanol is only marginally better because we can at least pipe it through the existing infrastructure to deliver it to consumers and many present cars can already burn it with little modification. But current methods of production are consuming corn, the same corn we feed cows which drives up cost of milk and beef. We could import from Brazil, who use sugar cane, but there is an import tax on that, sponsored by big agribusiness which ruins any cost savings. The actual production of ethanol fuel consumes energy which only results in energy waste being shifted, in part, to the processing plants.
Hybrid electric cars have a place but are not the whole answer. Presently their cost exceeds conventional vehicles leaving them out of mainstream use, thus contributing little to abate the fuel crisis overall.