Utilities And Commodities Prices Kill Alternative Cars: The Coal-Powered Auto

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Owning one of those new cars that runs on ethanol or electricity may be more expensive than the old-school gas versions, even if petrol stays at $3.50 a gallon.

The math wizards at The Wall Street Journal have figured out that battery-powered cars "will need ready access to inexpensive, plentiful electricity. That means the new vehicles "will make utilities more important than the oil companies" to many drivers, " Of course, utilities are less interested in making money than oil companies so they will keep prices down.

The same issues are about to plague hybrid cars that run on biofuels. The price of a bushel of corn is now higher than a pound of platinum. That may make the trip to the grocery store worth about $500.

What has been plentiful and cheap is not so any longer. That means the billion of dollars put into newfangled autos may be, at least in part, a poor investment for the likes of GM (GM) and Toyota (TM).

The only energy sources which are cheap now are nuclear and coal.

The coal-powered car is probably only a few years off.

Douglas A. McIntyre