Title: Executive engineer for regulatory affairs
Company: Toyota Technical Center U.S.A. Inc.
Thesis: Hybrid electric powertrains are the most likely first step in replacing the conventional internal combustion engine.
Quote: 'You have to balance the risk of being first with the rewards. If you're not first, then you have to be fast.'
Title: President and CEO
Company: Ballard Power Systems
Thesis: Fuel cell costs are coming down as production ramps up.
Quote: 'We're beginning to collect a great deal of information on driveability, performance, maintainability, passenger reaction, driver reaction and a much better understanding of the reliability of the components.'
Title: President, Energy and Engine Management Systems
Company: Delphi Automotive Systems
Thesis: New powertrains are
worthy of exploration, but the internal combustion engine will drive most vehicles in the near future.
Quote: 'It's a huge challenge for alternative propulsion systems to compete with today's engines in driveability and overall pleasability.'
Company: Energy Conversion Devices Inc.
Thesis: Next-generation batteries will make electric vehicles more competitive.
Quote: 'While not a selling point, most people will tell you they favor clean air, even those people who purchase a large vehicle or who don't consider clean air at the time the vehicle is purchased.'
Title: Chief engineer, automatic transmissions, powertrain operations
Company: Ford Motor Co.
Thesis: Continuously variable transmissions and six-speed automatics will be relatively cheap ways to improve fuel economy.
Quote: 'We are in the process of finalizing production plans for 2005-06. Our current (continuously variable transmission) units are good for up to 190 pounds-feet of torque and 2.5 liters to 3.0 liters of displacement. We envision it for a front-drive application, so you can use your imagination.'