That's what I've argued for years. Batteries are convenient for small things that are efficient and the losses are marginally valuable. With something as big and power hungry as a car, you have a lot of conversion losses that really eat up your efficiency. My money is on Hydrogen Fuel Cells, lower conversion costs and greater range than gas in a smaller package.
I used the 500 CI caddy from the 50's example as a polluting car example.
Your use of the word "derivatives" proves my point, we already use Biodiesel and Gas-a-haul in our cars, E-85 is pretty close to Zero Emissions already as it is pollution captured from the air by a plant that turned pollution into fruit or grain that was then distilled into fuel. Zero Emissions is not a pipe dream, we are most of the way there if people bothered to actually look.
In a major event, one can pump gasoline & diesel by hand. Folks are welcome to carry off electricity, too, I suppose, but please bring your own plastic bucket and Faraday cage.