Wheels of Tomorrow

Wheels of tomorrow

April 2, 2012: 5:00 AM ET

It's a brave new world for the future of autos: Electric cars will finally take off and drive themselves -- but don't say good-bye quite yet to fossil fuels.

By Anne VanderMey, reporter

Porsche's 918 Spyder hybrid prototype, with 718 hp producing a top speed of 199 mph, gets 78 miles per gallon. Price: $845,000.

Porsche's 918 Spyder hybrid prototype, with 718 hp producing a top speed of 199 mph, gets 78 miles per gallon. Price: $845,000.

FORTUNE -- While we're not going to see flying cars for a long, long while, the global automobile industry is indeed undergoing an epic transformation. The rising price of gas, stricter mileage requirements, and concerns about global warming are causing carmakers to rethink how we travel. In the U.S. a newly found 70-year supply of natural gas could mean more trucks powered by this plentiful fuel. Natural gas can also drive power plants, providing cleaner juice for all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. And don't count out the highly efficient combustion engine. Here's a look at where we're headed and how we'll get there.

For more on the Wheels of Tomorrow, click on the links below

Intro
Electrics
Self-driving cars
Fossil fuels
7 electric cars for the future
Why Boone Pickens loves gas

This story is from the April 9, 2012 issue of Fortune.

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