It’s a brave new world for the future of autos: Electric cars will finally take off and drive themselves — but don’t say good-bye quite yet to fossil fuels.
While we’re not going to see flying cars for a long, long while, the global automobile industry is indeed undergoing an epic transformation. The rising price of gas, stricter mileage requirements, and concerns about global warming are causing carmakers to rethink how we travel. In the U.S. a newly found 70-year supply of natural gas could mean more trucks powered by this plentiful fuel. Natural gas can also drive power plants, providing cleaner juice for all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. And don’t count out the highly efficient combustion engine. Here’s a look at where we’re headed and how we’ll get there.
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This story is from the April 9, 2012 issue of Fortune.