Car of the Future

Car of the Future

2008, Technology  -   43 Comments
Ratings: 7.53/10 from 62 users.

Car of the FutureThis one-hour program is divided into six chapters. Hitting The Road. Projections suggest that by 2050 there will be two billion vehicles on the world's roads, two and a half times as many as there are today. The "Car Talk" duo, brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hit the road in search of the car of the future.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells. Iceland, with a thousand times fewer people and cars than the U.S., has introduced the world's first hydrogen-fueled public buses in an effort to curb dependence on imported oil.

Towards Biofuels. Tom and Ray look at possible new ways to make ethanol. Such "biofuels" have much lower greenhouse-gas emissions but, critics say, come at a cost.

Frontiers of Efficiency. Engines have become more fuel-efficient over the years, but that efficiency has been channeled into more powerful vehicles rather than improving fuel economy.

Plugging In. Can the next generation of hybrid cars cause an energy revolution by allowing us to plug into the grid? Vehicles powered from power plants could substantially reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Taking Action. To make the switch to more Earth-friendly vehicles, we need more than visionary thinkers and eco-conscious consumers, experts say. We need concerted government action.

More great documentaries

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
whats up
8 years ago

at the age of 23 I realize that what Tesla said ab8 these people.....

“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine”

10 years ago

1970's they had an engine that could do 100mpg. 1980's Oil Companies asked Car companies to stop designing battery cars. Oil companies want to extract every penny out of the resource before they allow new energy

10 years ago

one word: Tesla

The future is already here today!

10 years ago

so I thought this will be nuts - car companies talking about 50 years from now! Forget about it...we are probably being optimistic if cars and transportation, as it is, can survive another 10 years- I have started putting away my pennies to do an electric conversion for my VW Golf (cost now about $5K ) and batteries are getting better (slightly). Today Tesla is rolling out a beautiful all electric sports car with 300 KM on one charge on a 10 year battery life, carbon fibre bodies (light and 2x stronger then steel); the strong body and simple technology mean very little maintenance as well as no gas/oil. Which explains why oil supporters have done everything possible to stand in their way the last 10 years...Yesterday Florida announced a $10 mill grant to the 2012 car has been rolling out to great reviews and a starting price (very base) at $49K - THIS is something worth watching (and protecting, from the vultures trying to run them out of business)...We have to go electric and grow electric cleaner NOW, not in 10 or 20 or 50 years.

10 years ago

I have not owned a motor vehicle for over five years. It started as an experiment that left me uneasy for a few weeks but I soon began to wonder where everybody else was driving to. ( I live in what was a streetcar suburb although the streetcars have been replaced by buses, so I bicycle,walk or take a bus.) Although most adults buy a car and once you own a car there is little need to walk anywhere.

11 years ago

The GM novel is great, after crush sucessful electrics cars in 1996 (see "who killed the electric car") now he have "imaginary" cars. If there's someone who doesn't want alternatives to oil might, is GM...

11 years ago


11 years ago

this documentary is so ****** the future is small 1.3 etc. turbo diesel cars which average nearly 80mpg and are getting better (not to mention can run on vegetable oil) and cost the same as petrol equivalent, not once was diesel even mentioned or diesel hybrids which will be the future. ****** Americans.

12 years ago

So irritating, he keeps laughing (stupidly)
Feels like a home-made video when these two are on screen

12 years ago

IMO, any report that does not include the creation of blue zones and/or the bicycle (or other human powered systems) is out of touch with reality.

12 years ago

Ah wait, I saw this show on tv once, after 5 minutes I changed to a other channel because it was so damn bad.

Gary V
12 years ago

This doc is spoilt by the two annoying clowns who present it, they are constantly laughing at their own totally unfunny lame jokes. A shame because it would have been a good doc if it wasn't for them.

12 years ago

Sadly corn is mass produced in the US because it so heavily subsidized, that they use it in everything from confectionery to feeding cows, which cows aren't designed to eat, and they get diseased and kill the Americans that eat it, while powering their cars that they use to drive to their local fast food burger joint drive through...irony or conspiracy...

12 years ago

Folks I would hope you would have some background with Car Talk. Sadly it appears many people who responded to this video take themselves too seriously. This was a another well rounded quality video from NOVA. Thanks for posting it.

12 years ago

omg! is this thing full of propaganda (oil money goes to people who are trying to kill us.' No one is a greater threat to the American people than some of their own politicians and business leaders

12 years ago

Interesting documentary. As we've seen oil spikes as well as food price spikes here at home from the Middle East revolutions, it even further begs us to find an alternative solution. We can't rely on unstable countries. I'm surprised they didn't mention anything about the possibility of solar powered cars. The sun has an infinite supply of energy. Thanks for the site Vlatko, I watch docs nearly every weekend.

Billy Bingbong
12 years ago

Hydrogen fueled busses? They can't do that! Where is the American Government when you need them :p

leo g.
12 years ago

well,well,after watching "who killed the electric car"and "the car of the future",my best option is a pushbike,do you all agree with me?

King Arthur
12 years ago

OMG...This is the least professional video made ever!!! These guys do nothing but laugh at every interview they set up and quiet honestly these guys were very! VERY!!! annoying. If I had a choice, I would love to "d@#$-slap" the bearded host!!!

mani limbu
12 years ago

yes its realy intresting to watch the future car and future tecnology... plece upload more documentri like this....

12 years ago

Doc doesnt address compessed air cars at all. Problem the elec to run all the compressors.

Slovakia sucks!
12 years ago

I expected a more professional attitude toward this serious subject, instead I got two incompetent ass-wipes who informed me of nothing new.

13 years ago

To Vlatko
Guy, this site is wild, for years i searched for docs the old way of googling stuff. Well anyways I've been reading comments from you and other regulars, and you people are seriously good people...
Well anyways I'm 32 and from Canada, trying to figure out how to build a magnetic motor, and have watched anything to do with Tesla and his work, you do have some here.
Long story short, I met people at li-ion Motors who are trying there hand at electric cars which is good, I presented them with the idea and they know about it, but it was like looking at a deer stuck in the head lights of a car.
I live in Calgary Canada, HQ's for all the oil company's in my country, (I find it scary here, I'm from Toronto) the streets are nearly paved in gold here and this idea of the magnetic motor needs to be more promoted. I'm trying to build something, youtube is a joke when it comes to showing the every day man how to build it.

and those other guys like connie, Hate machine, Achems Razor

13 years ago

GM saying the battery technology isn't available for another 7 years is comical. GM bought a fantastic new battery company and shut it down. Purely to squash the new technology so they could go on selling the same ole crap to us. GM got 65 billion Bailout, this year they are making a slight improvement financially. It's not from sales. It's from SERVICE. They dont want us to have a maintenance free car! The EV1 was terrific as is. it had lead acid batteries and all people who leased it wanted to buy it !

13 years ago

To DJ's comment - In the case of Americans, the ignorance of environmental issues and the fact that GM and the others are lying saying, ehhh, the technology really isn't there yet is complete BS, so yes the government must step in. The consumers are basing their decisions on lies. If it weren't true, the EV1 would have spread like the Prius is spreading now. I see so many people trying to do their part by buying THAT when if given the choice, They'd have done better, Bought an EV .

13 years ago

I think this was a really well made documentay. I love klick-n-klack. They illuded to it, but the big lesson is that these things cannot be done by BS and bullying. It needs to be market driven & it needs to be the will of the people. We are a free country & if you want it done you have to convince the people. No goverment program can make a move this dramatic, it has to be the unstoppble force of the invisible hand of capitolism ... yes, evil capitolism is the only force great enough to make this happen.

A market driven solution is the only one that will work in the end.

13 years ago

Hi everyone, as CitizenPete mentioned above “Who Killed the Electric Car?”is great doc and answers some of your questions about torque, battery technology, range and speed.

The totally electric car is possible and should have been a reality years ago if it wasn't for car manufacturers colluding with oil companies to kill the electric car.

For all you Americans, just watched a very sad doc on the Death of Detroit. If you guys have stuck with developing the electric car technology you would be years ahead of the competitors. Now it seems China is taking over.

"The 'Build Your Dream' corporation, or BYD, is producing a car which runs up to 100 kilometres on a fully charged battery from a household power outlet.

It's already got the backing of billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett, who's paid $US230 million for a nine per cent stake in the company."

It's a true tragedy for American automotive workers.

13 years ago

The problem with electric cars before was the speed or lack there of, it seems they have that worked out. Love the carbon fiber panels. I want solar panels embedded in the carbon for my car, I can't see why they wouldn't be able to use it in a decorative way since the flexibility of that material is improving as well.

13 years ago

i guess battery technology evaluation is still slow.. lethium batteries are best till so far.... y dont they do research on battery techonogly .... holding intense energy in single battery that would change the world in every field...

13 years ago

Hi guys,
Iv seen another documentary on this site claiming that the whole global warming theory Is a hoax.

Is this true?

Really hope so.. As I love cars
I just cant Imagine driving anothing other than a petrol guzzling Ferrari. (In the future unfortunatly)
Id rather grow a forest to make ammends!

As economical and great that It sounds,
I just cant help think they will be pretty awful to drive..
(And made for straight lines no doubt)

13 years ago

Interesting documentary in regards to some of the technologies and concepts at their status. A more thorough look into this topic would discuss real energy issues and eco/political impacts.

I suggest anyone who liked this file watch the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?" with focus on the battery technology used in GM's car and the fact that the company was bought out and then the electronics developed and perfected by GM. Compare the technology and commentary in that older documentary and then listen to the GM reps again in this film. Either they are lying here about the batteries being the hold up on the Volt manufacturing and release or I am missing something.

I would behoove people to also understand the economics and working of the electric grid. Power companies could just about pay you to charge your car at night during off peak hours (even though the demand is almost nothing). Generators must come down in load at night because the demand is not there. This is not easy esp. with large base load generators like big coal and Nuclear (you can't just switch these plants on and off). This is also another reason why wind power is not the savior energy source that people think it is. (e.g. in the NE the wind blows at night -- when you don't want the power).

13 years ago

This website is the best. Great amount of hard work seems to have put... has worked very well. keep it up.

13 years ago

I love Click and Clack.

13 years ago

An electric motor would have much higher torque than the conventional internal combustion motors. The most common problem is getting better, lighter batteries. The Tesla shown here is much heavier than The Lotus Elise it's based on, yet it will blow past the Elise on the straights. (Top Gear had an episode on the subject)

So we will not give up performance, we would actually get an improvement in it. Before I started researching this, I thought the opposite was true.

13 years ago

hey vlatko im now fully addicted to this awesome site , as an enlightened American i praise you doing this, on the other end the hosts make this a very ammusing doc. while laying down the necessary info

13 years ago

Informative and to the point. Can this design be used in larger capacity transportation such as large trucks. My SUV often has to move some heavy items is the torque in this new technology there?

13 years ago

I loved this one. They make a big asumption about global warming and carbon emisions but other than that they aproach everything with good pro and con observations.

whoopi goldberg
13 years ago

why are people voting so low? the hosts in this doc are hilarious, 9 from me!!