DETROIT -- As we continue our look ahead to the year 2020, with more people in our area there will certainly be more cars on our roads. But what kind of cars will they be? NewsChannel 3's Steve Rondinaro has covered the auto industry for years and went to the Detroit Auto Show for a look into the future. E85, hybrid, electric, fuel cell -- it's a complex new world. Which will rule the future and how will we get there? That's a multi-million dollar question. It may not be easy being green but it's the new color of the car business. Raw horsepower is now on equal footing with mileage and emissions. Got a hybrid with that hemi? Well, yes says Chrysler. Chrysler Co-President Tom Lasorda said, "We got the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango hybrids. It's the same system we're going to put in this truck, this brand new truck." The US big 3 are all in the game. Ford is developing its hybrids, including a plug-in version of the Escape. General Motors is working on two tracks and timelines. Its Chevy Malibu, the 2008 North American car of the year already has a hybrid version in the works. GM Chairman Rick Waggoner said, "So are electrically-driven vehicles the answer for the long term? Yes. Do we need something to significantly reduce our reliance on petroleum in the interim? Absolutely. And it's increasingly clear that something is ethanol." GM has launched a partnership with a company that says it can make efficient non-grain based ethanol for less than $1 a gallon while it continues to ratchet up its line of flex fuel and E85 vehicles. Honda even sported an at home natural gas fueling system to complement its line of hybrids. Honda VP John Mendell said, "It's a race I hope everybody wins. With the environment as critical to us, we've been working on this for 30 years and we continue in the same direction. And that's fine. We like to be pushed. We like the competition. And we like now that everybody's talking about the environment." Toyota's Prius is the hybrid sales leader. Plug-in prototypes are now on the road in California. Toyota is also pushing hard on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. A fuel cell Highlander made the 2,300 mile trek from Fairbanks, Alaska to Vancouver, British Columbia in September without a problem. It averaged well over 300 miles per tank. Toyota's animated cutaway version drew a crowd in Detroit. It's clean renewable energy and our ultimate destination, but there's a long way to go before we see hydrogen filling stations popping up on local street corners. How we get there will be an interesting journey. It's a new green new world in the car business -- there's even a bio-fuel Ferrari in the works.
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