Cars Of The Future: A Guide To Alternative Energy Sources

August 08, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Most of the cars that you see on the road have petrol or diesel engines in them. The fuel for both engine types comes from oil. As you might already know, petrol and diesel are fossil fuels. There is growing speculation about the amount of oil resources we have left in the world.

People worry about running out of oil soon, especially as the number of cars in use around the world is growing each year. There is also the negative environmental impact oil has on the world. Those are the reasons why car makers are coming up with alternative energy vehicles.

Have you ever wondered what will power the cars of the future? You might not know it, but there are plenty of alternative fuel sources that are in use today. Many others are getting planned for the future, too.

Here is a roundup of what the alternatives are:

Electricity

The world has plenty of electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf. All-electric cars have no petrol or diesel engines. Instead, they rely on an electric charge from a dedicated charging point or socket.

An array of special batteries store the electrical charge and offer a range of at least 100 miles, depending on the car.

Hydrogen

Does the mere thought of hydrogen conjure up images of the Hindenburg disaster? Don’t worry, hydrogen technology has come a long way since the 1930s!

Car manufacturers such as BMW and Toyota have been working on concept cars for a while now that feature hydrogen fuel cells.

Such cars have internal combustion engines. But instead of using petrol or diesel fuel, they use hydrogen instead. The thing about hydrogen is that the combustion process is more efficient than with petrol and diesel. And the big selling point? No harmful CO2 emissions! Only water vapour!

The only downside to hydrogen technology is that it is expensive. It will be a long time before you see hydrogen-powered cars in the showrooms of SW Car Supermarket and other car dealers. The outlook for hydrogen cars is promising.

Biodiesel

Diesel engines by their nature are more fuel-efficient than petrol ones. Unfortunately, diesel is a fossil fuel. But did you know that diesel engines can use alternative fuel sources?

You can refine biodiesel from cooking oil and grease, and works well in diesel engines. I’m told that rapeseed oil works best. The downside? Your car will smell like French Fries! Many enthusiasts refine waste cooking oil at home.

Compressed air

Few people of heard about cars that run on compressed air. It is an interesting alternative to the internal combustion engine!

Compressed air engines, as the name suggests, run on air. But they don’t run on air alone. They use electric motors to compress the air down high-pressure lines. The only downside to compressed air cars is that the electric motor batteries need charging sometimes.

The good news is that the charge time is much lower than with electric cars because the motors don’t use much electricity.

Have you heard of any new alternative power developments? Feel free to post them up below!

Image credit: KF6OAK


About the Author

Jyotsna Ramani is a passionate writer and an avid globetrotter. She had a knack for writing since her early years, though that was mostly letters to her penpals and jotting her thoughts down in her "Dear Diary". Over the years, she realized how her hobby could turn into a full time career and she started writing web content, books and pieces for local magazines. There has been no looking back ever since. Follow Jyotsna Ramani at Google+

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