Unplugging the Electric Car

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DETROIT: Oilmen, light your cigars: Honda may have just saved internal combustion. Honda Motor Co. announced the development of a gasoline engine that is nearly emission-free. "A car equipped with this engine could drive through a high smog area and the smog producing emissions coming out of the tailpipe would actually be lower than they are in the surrounding air," said Nobuhiko Kawamoto, Honda's president and chief executive officer.

The engine is equipped with a second catalytic converter, installed near the manifold, and has impressed engineers in early tests. And though no one was saying how long until the engine starts showing up under Accord hoods near you, executives at the company say it's definitely "feasible." That's bad news for electric cars in general and General Motors in particular, but in the near (and attainable-sounding) future, it looks like cleaner air ahead.