National Renewable Energy Lab

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The changes coming in personal transportation over the next several years will be a revolution akin to the shift from the horse and buggy to the automobile more than 100 years ago, says Dana Christensen, deputy laboratory director for science and technology for the U.S. Dept. of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo.

Transportation currently accounts for about one-third of the U.S. energy budget, Christensen notes. He says dramatic improvements in the efficient use of transportation energy will be essential in meeting the country's mandate for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.