Vehicles have changed everything from the way that people live to how businesses function, but they also tend to use up a lot of the ever-depleting fossil fuels on the earth, and they emit greenhouse gases that are doing a lot of damage to the earth. For this and other reasons, researchers have been looking into alternatives to try and find another answer to the problem and this has led them to renewable and alternative fuels.
The U.S Department of Energy defines alternative fuels as those that are;
…derived from resources other than petroleum.
While some fuels tend to be produced locally within a country, others are imported, and then there are those that are renewable, and as such, the most preferable of all the options because they don’t produce as much pollution (at times, they don’t produce any at all).
When it comes to alternative fuel, people have many different options available. Firstly, ethanol is a fuel that tends to be made domestically in most countries and it is manufactured from corn. One of the biggest advantages of this option is that it doesn’t produce as much pollution as the more conventional options, and the ingredients are easy to grow.
Biodiesel, on the other hand, is derived from animal and vegetable fats and they also tend to produce much less pollution than traditional options. Natural gas is another available option, although it isn’t renewable because it is derived from fossil fuels, but it does produce fewer greenhouse gases and so it tends to be slightly better for the environment.
There are a few other natural gases that can be used to power vehicles, although the aim of most scientists is now to look into completely renewable options because fossil fuels are finite and therefore there will come a time when there is no more of this fuel to extract and use.
Understanding Hybrid Cars
Hybrid cars, say the contributors of Alternative Energy News;
…use a rechargeable energy storage system to supplement fossil fuel energy for vehicle propulsion.
The engines within these vehicles tend to be smaller and some of them actually make use of regenerative braking in order for the car to generate electricity as it is in motion. Some vehicles, on the other hand, function off a combination of fuels, including ethanol and petroleum. Kia is a car brand that has long been known for its hybrid models and at first many thought that this company wouldn’t last, but it is still going strong. The main attraction point for these cars is that they are not only more environmentally friendly, but they are also extremely cost effective.
In the past, hybrid cars were few and far between, and powering one was thought to be more trouble than they were worth. These days, however, many major vehicle manufacturers are adding their own vehicle makes to the renewable energy market and many cities have areas designated to charge the batteries on these cars.
The Webecois explains the boost in demand this way;
Between hydrogen fuel cells, bio diesel, electricity and compressed air, the industrialized world is hard at work creating the next generation of non-oil consuming vehicles.
If you are aware of biofuels powering vehicles, you might not be all that surprised at these options that are available on the market, but the alternatives don’t stop there. There are a few very interesting options that have currently made a big splash on the market, with some of them being completely renewable and others being only a few steps up from the traditional alternatives.
Compressed air is one of the options that are now available to people through the western world and these vehicles were introduced to the world by French engineers. This vehicle can reach up to 35MPH, although the vehicle, with only a few added drops of oil, can actually reach up to 90MPH. One of the best things about this vehicle is that it is very affordable, putting it within reach of the average person.
Water powered vehicles were introduced to the world by Japanese car manufacturers and the Genepax, as it is called, can reach up to 80 KPH in speed. You should expect the car to use about 1 liter of water for every hour that it is on the road. In order to function, this vehicle actually extracts hydrogen electrons from the water and then uses them to produce the electricity that powers the vehicle.
Electricity is being used to power cars all over the world, with some cities even reserving parking spots for cars that need to be recharged during the day. Peugeot is only one of the many companies investing in this technology and so you can expect to have many different options being made available to you when the time comes to choose one of these cars.
Turning Electric Cars Into Renewable Energy Resources
Not only are electric cars making waves in the field of renewable energy, but now scientists are considering using them as sources of power, rather than just vehicles. Dave Levitan writes that;
By next year tens of thousands of Nissan LEAFs, Chevy Volts, and other electric vehicles will start rolling off assembly lines. The electricity generation and transportation sectors may seem like two disparate pieces of a puzzle, but in fact they may end up being intimately related.
He says that these cars can actually be used to store excess power during periods when the demand for electricity is low, and when this demand rises, the electricity can simply be fed back into the system. Owners of these particular vehicles could be paid by electricity wholesalers and utility company to provide the power to them. This specific idea isn’t a new one; it’s been around for a few decades, although it hasn’t seemed practical, or indeed possible, until now.
The world of renewable energy is an exciting one, and as this technology continues to improve, people should continue to expect wonders from the field, including cars that are fueled entirely by renewable energy resources.