It is also true that GM, for one, has a robust advanced technology division, which will deliver "mild" hybrid vehicles to market early next year. GM also will soon roll out its displacement-on-demand system, which promises to significantly improve fuel consumption and emissions on the thirstiest and most popular of vehicles -- that is, pickups and SUVs. It also is making strides in diesel and injection technology.
But fully a third of GM's research budget goes toward the far-fetched future of fuel cells. As a matter of policy, the company regards hybrid powertrains as merely an interim solution. The company may yet be rewarded in the marketplace. As a matter of energy policy, Congress should not allow attainable gains to be held hostage to tomorrow.