According to an article in the August edition of  Car and Driver magazine, the future of cars or at least the near future of cars will be electric.  Coming from a magazine who routinely crowns the victor of many comparison tests as the one with the most horsepower, or the one with the best acceleration, admitting to an EV future is a significant step away from their traditions.

As the author states, a debate over the future of powering automotive vehicles is ongoing, but one thing seems for certain.  Right now the future is electric whether that means hybrid, EREV, of pure EV, our vehicles that we drive in the coming years will have some form of electric powered system in place for motivation.

The hybrid that we have grown accustomed to in the Prius, Insight, and now Fusion among other models will soon fade away as plug-in hybrids take over the market.  The natural evolution would point to EREVs such as the Chevy Volt to take over after plug-in hybrids.  The final electric vehicle in the line up would be the full blown EV.

With CAFE regulations becoming increasing stringent in the coming years, manufacturers will be forced to follow the plan outlined above as it allows them to meet the standards set for the coming years.

As battery technology advances through additional research and development, pure EVs will emerge as the leading technology for vehicles in the near future.

The article does not state what's next after EVs.  Assuming there is another advancement past EVs, it is still unclear what that will be at this point.  But for now it seems more than certain that electric vehicles will become increasing common in the coming years as the days of the dominance of internal combustion engines may be limited.

Source:  Car and Driver August 2009