Environmentally Sound Car Technology

Thursday, May 31, 2012

There are many ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and motorists are finding ways to decrease their cost of driving. 

Below are a few ways in which motorists have decided to become more “green”

  • Car Sharing – Many places have decided to “share” their vehicles.  Based on a membership, members can pay for the use of the car by the hour or the day, with insurance and gas being included.

  • Rent – Many people rent the vehicle for when they need it.  You can even now rent a hybrid or an alternative fuel vehicle.

  • Share the Ride – many people car pool, which saves in both fuel and greenhouse gas emissions, eliminating the need for one more car on the road.

  • Alternative Fuels – Many motorists have decided to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by driving vehicles that rely on alternative fuels for use (such as ethanol, hydrogen, biodiesel.

With fuel prices at an all time high, many consumers have gone from the “gas guzzling” car to the more fuel efficient cars.   As well, the current issue of global warming, car manufacturers has decided to make cars more environmentally friendly, which will produce less harmful impacts to the environment.  These vehicles are powered by alternative fuels, which consequently increase fuel economy, decreasing the cost to run them.  The alternative fuels are in direct contrast to fossil fuels and carbon fuels such as gasoline and diesel which most motorists use now. 

The following are a few of the greenest technologies that are available in cars.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle

The hybrid electric vehicle uses two power sources to drive the car.  These vehicles use a combustion engine and an electric motor.  It is interesting to note that this car is very efficient in the manner in which it works, as it actually charges the battery while it is breaking. 

Efficiency is the main advantage of the hybrid vehicle. These cars run for pennies per kilometer and emit le2012ss dangerous greenhouse gas emissions.  However, hybrids are initially more expensive to purchase.  However, to make the decision to see if it will be a cost benefit, one would have to determine how many miles they were going to drive, with the expected fuel cost. 

Most manufacturers are now including hybrid cars in their model offerings. 

Ethanol can be used in vehicles that have been designed to run on flexible-fuel, for example those that run on gasoline, alcohol or a combination of two fuels from the same tank.  The blend of these fuels to operate cars reduces the use of fossil fuels, thereby, reducing the greenhouse gas emissions.

Biodiesel is another alternative fuel made from different sources ranging from plants and crops (such as soybeans) to vegetable oil waste, algae and animal fats waste.  It can be produced locally, so in the future, it will decrease the World’s dependence on obtaining oil from foreign countries, this in turn will make running a vehicle with biodiesel more economical. It can be used in diesel engines and is cleaner than regular petroleum diesel.

Natural Gas
Natural gas is another alternative fuel and is less expensive than gasoline and diesel.  It is considered to be the cleanest burning fossil fuel.  Because of this, less harmful greenhouse gases are emitted into the environment. Also, the carbon deposits found in the engine are minimal, and this can increase the life span of the engine.   This therefore, will decrease the amount of oil changes and tune ups needed.  It is found in abundance, and therefore, will be less expensive than diesel or gasoline.  Natural gas is considered safer than gasoline as well.  Gasoline has the threat to ignite; however, natural gas will dissipate into the air.

Natural gas has widely been gained popularity and is widely used in the heavy duty market (transit buses, school buses, delivery trucks).  In the future, home refueling appliances will be readily available making refueling a breeze, and it will use the home’s natural gas supply. 

Honda’s Civic GX is the industry’s cleanest internal combustion vehicle and the most popular natural gas car on the market.  Driving this civic allows motorist to obtain federal tax credits and other incentives. 

Hydrogen is another clean burring alternative fuel, which produces nearly zero emissions.  In some vehicles, hydrogen will combine with atmospheric oxygen converting chemical energy into electricity to power the electric power train.  Currently, only a few vehicles are on the market available for lease, such as the Honda Clarity, however this lease includes collision insurance and maintenance. 
This stylish four door sedan represents a major milestone in design, fuel cell development, and the future of zero emission hydrogen as an important fuel alternative. We're breathlessly awaiting the next development in this hydrogen car's drive to the mass market.

These flexible and alternative fuel options for motorists will significantly reduce fuel consumption, decrease the cost to run vehicles and limit the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are polluting the environment.   However, although the technology has been made, the demand has not been seen yet for these vehicles.  That is why you don’t see many fuel stations readily selling ethanol or biodiesel.  But that may not be long in the future.  Currently in California for example, only 30 stations sell biodiesel.  This means that motorists will be at a disadvantage to get this type of fuel, for now.  However, with new technology and knowledge comes demand, and with competitive pricing, alternative fuels will not be long to get into the mainstream and perhaps change the fuels we put in our vehicles.