Tesla Model S is Tops But Electric Future Still Dim

Consumer Reports naming the Tesla Model S as best overall car of 2013 should be an enormous boost to the US electric car business, which has grown slowly since the intro of the Chevrolet Volt in 2010.

In 2013 with roughly 16 different electric models available ranging from the very basic Nissan Leaf for about $29,000 to the luxurious $76,000 Cadillac ELR, US electric vehicle sales increased to 96,000 units, nearly double the previous year, suggesting a powerful trend.

And yet relative to some 15 million cars sold in 2013 it is a barely a blip — and still, electric cars are not popular with energy scientists seeking a long-term solution.

There is encouraging progress in sustainable bio-fuels from the temperature and drought resistant Jatropha plant, yielding seeds with a 37% oil content, which can be burned as fuel in current engines, without refining, and producing no carbon emissions.

The new Toyota hydrogen fuel cell vehicle –- which can also power a home in emergencies -– is due out in 2015. And the dramatic Audi e-fuels program is turning genetically engineered photosynthetic microorganisms into a fuel which burns more efficiently and produces fewer emissions than gas or diesel.

This George Polgar of GT Marketing for KYW News Radio.