7 Cutting-Edge Eco Cars That Are Right Around the Corner

Friday, Nov 19, 2010  |  Updated 1:47 PM PDT
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    Remember back when the Prius being a hybrid was a big deal? Not anymore. Nowadays, every car company has hybrids, and the race is on to find the next big green technology. We saw a bunch of eco-friendly(er) power systems at the LA Auto Show, including some sweet cars that you'll be able to get your hands on within the year.

    There are a few different ways to make a car that doesn't have to run on gas. Battery powered cars are pretty easy to build in principle, and most companies have at least one pure electric demonstrator sitting sad and neglected in a corner of their booths just to say that they've done it. I'm looking at you, Volvo. Producing a commercially viable electric car, on the other hand, is trickier than it sounds, which is why only a few companies are anywhere close to fielding something mainstream.

    Other options include pure electric hybrids with auxiliary gas engines, which seem like a decent idea, and hydrogen powered cars, which really don't. In addition to having to make hydrogen somehow, you also have to carry it around inside a big tank that, if punctured, turns into a rocket. Not that that's stopping people from trying to make it work.

    Take a look through the gallery below to see some of the cars at the LA Auto Show with realistic, green power systems that you'll actually be able to buy within the next year or two.

    For the latest tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @dvice

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