...I had dinner with Larry Burns, vice-president of Research & Development and Strategic Planning for General Motors a while ago.
OK, we weren't alone - there was a group of Canadian automotive journalists at this bunfight.
Larry is one of the smartest, not to mention greenest, people in the car business.
Among the many insights he shared with us that evening was that despite whatever progress is made in electric cars like his own Volt, or hybrids, fuel cells, hydrogen, you name it: in fifty years, the primary energy source for private transportation vehicles will be - gasoline.
As we have noted several times this year, despite the maturity of gasoline-powered internal combustion engine technology, engineers are still making substantial improvements in power generation, fuel consumption, and emissions reduction.
As long as gasoline remains essentially free, it will also continue to be the economic choice.
He also noted that people of "our" generation (give or take) view such electronic devices as cell phones, iPods, mp3 players, etc., as distractions from the driving task, hence we often criticize any attempts to integrate them into our automobiles (guilty as charged, Larry).
But he notes that younger people almost view driving as a distraction from their electronic communications devices.
So it is incumbent on car designers to find ways to allow these two activities to co-exist as safely as possible.
Won't be easy.
After all, some people think that car radios should be banned because they distract from the driving task too.
Not going to happen.