|What will be the source of energy for vehicles 50 years from now? — AW, Karachi, Pakistan
When the earth's petroleum supply has been depleted to point where it becomes too precious and expensive to burn, electric vehicles will probably take over. While it's possible to synthesize chemical fuels, I don't think it will be worth the trouble. The bigger question is where the electricity needed to charge the batteries will come from. I'll bet on solar power. Right now, electric cars don't save fossil fuels or keep the air significantly cleaner because the electricity those cars use is obtained by burning fossil fuels. But the electric cars of the future will probably obtain their electric power from the sun. Nuclear fission and fusion are also possibilities, but fission power has its drawbacks and its not clear when or even if fusion power will be available.