Alternative-Fuel Vehicles Essay
Atmospheric pollution is a major problem nowadays. So it is important that we should immediately find alternative fuel sources for petroleum and reduce the emission of harmful gases in the atmosphere. This has been the dream of many scientists because this will significantly reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, a green house gas, to the atmosphere. Most of these fuels can be manufactured domestically so I cut the costs of importing from other countries. Some are even derived from renewable sources. Electric cars are now being manufactured globally.
Unknown to many, electricity-powered cars came into the automotive scene before its diesel and petroleum counterpart. But due to the limitations of the technology in the past, its development was stopped and diesel cars became the standard car. Most of the problems electric cars faced points to the battery. Batteries were heavy and required recharging. But there are new developments in this technology. A battery now has longer life and comes in much lighter forms. The main drawback of this car is the distance it can travel before the batteries run out.
If there are enough recharging stops, like gas stations, the electric car will prove itself as a fuel-efficient and environment-friendly car. Natural gas cars are also gaining popularity. The promise of being able to fuel the car at one’s own home is hard to deny. Honda calls it a personalized solution to the fact that gasoline stations don’t sell natural gas. The Honda model Civic GX is coined as the cleanest internal combustion engine-powered vehicle ever tested by Environmental Protection Agency. However, natural gas is not renewable.
A potential advantage of Hydrogen cars is that it can be used over and over again by the process of electrolysis. Although the supply hydrogen is not limited as fossil-fuels, production of such cars doesn’t come at a cheap price. Hydrogen has many advantages if used to fuel cars, but currently it is very expensive. Some car companies offer to convert diesel cars into hydrogen cars, but most of the time the price of conversion is much more expensive than the original price of the car. Also, hydrogen in normal temperature is gas and to be used as fuel it should be squeezed in high pressures so it is somewhat difficult to contain.
Fuel cell cars are definitely a technology to watch for. It has the potential to minimize the use of energy while reducing harmful emissions at the same time. What sets it above the others is that it can make its own energy through certain chemical processes. Also, fuel cell cars don’t emit pollutants. But the price is almost the same for hydrogen cars, if not higher. The developments in fuel cells is rather young, it is not yet tested as compared to other alternative fuels, so it would be a risk if we utilize this technology right away.
Among these alternative sources of energy, I choose natural gas. The other alternatives may score a higher grade in terms of energy advantage and minimal emission, but they are too expensive. The economy will suffer as we save the environment using Hydrogen, Electric, and Fuel Cell cars. Natural gas is widely distributed around the world. New natural gas reserves are discovered as time pass, it is just waiting for us to harness fuel from it. Most countries will be able to tap their own resources and strengthen one’s economy.
The production of cars and fuel supply for natural gas cars is also very feasible compared to the other alternatives. Atmospheric pollution is increasing during each day. And since natural gas is the cheapest, we can immediately put it to use. This is the realistic approach concern the threat of global warming. We put into use something that works and will be a benefit for both the economy and environment. And after we became successful in harnessing natural gas, and the economic condition permits it, it is the time to upgrade to hydrogen or fuel cells and completely eliminate harmful emissions from vehicles.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 February 2017
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