The automotive industry has the size and research capabilities to tackle the growing predicament of the failings of the internal combustion engine using hydrocarbon fuels. The emissions from conventional cars and trucks contribute to climate change. The availability of the fuels for these vehicles is becoming more questionable as the number of them increases due to the emerging demand in developing countries such as China, India and Brazil while the extraction of oil becomes a bigger problem. It is no surprise, therefore, that automotive companies are devoting appreciable resources to alternatives to the internal combustion engine to power these machines. Hydrogen fuel cells, electric motors and other means have been brought to the proving stage. They all have their advantages and disadvantages so only experience will determine which ones, if any, largely replace the conventional vehicle. The liquid nitrogen powered car is now receiving attention as its advantages seem to outweigh its rivals even at this early stage of development.
These considerations of the merit of various forms of powering motor vehicles are to be expected of the global automotive industry. They have the objective of producing something that will expand their market share. This myopic view does not take into account that the vehicles they produce are made of irreplaceable materials and they have a limited life. Recycling scrap cars does not change the principle that the manufacture of various types of cars is an unsustainable process.
It is certain that in the relatively near future only a small section of society will be able to afford to run cars. They will be able to bless the fact that they no loner have to cope with traffic congestion. But the masses will not cope pleasantly with withdrawal of the means of transport they have become dependent on.