As we consider assistance to our ailing auto industry, we might want to consider whether or not they are genuinely looking at designing the alternative energy vehicles of the future. Our industry would have to compete with the innovative technologies being developed where energy efficiency is even more of a priority.
Consider these French models. (Pictures were taken in Paris, 2008, at an outdoor energy and transportation exhibition.)
This first specimen, the Biotop, not only uses alternative fuel------I'm guessing because of the name. Everything was in FRENCH! Merde.-----It also appears to feature a state of the art spin cycle. (And it's soooo cute.)
This next high concept vehicle is quintessentially French with it's existential approach to the very notion of a conveyance. Alas, even with the umbrellas it is unlikely to protect the "occupants" from rain or other inclement weather. (In fact, to me it looks more like he is trying to get struck by lightening than trying to move.) Just maybe, our automotive industry can come up with an alternative that outperforms this sublimely minimalist contender.