Across the country there is a great desire and drive to decrease the environmental impact and oil dependency of traditional cars. Because of this there is a growing interest in green technology and alternative fuels. Research into these technologies is likely to change the way we travel for work, for education and for fun.
Research is currently underway in a variety of exciting new technologies including:
- Hybrids: these are vehicles that combine several power systems to create a more efficient engine. A great hybrid example is the combination of an electric and a gasoline engine.
- Electric cars: electric cars utilize a drive motor that is powered by batteries. They are rechargeable and release no emissions.
- Ethanol: this alternative fuel is alcohol based and made from biomass. Typical ethanol cars utilize 15% gasoline and 85% ethanol to run.
- Hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen cars: consider the cleanest running automobiles on the market, these cars emit water and oxygen vapor only and run on Hydrogen.
- Natural Gas: natural gas is another clean burning fossil fuel alternative. It can be used to power engines and is found in abundance throughout the world making it an ideal energy resource.
- Plug in hybrids: these hybrids get very high MPG and can travel great distances solely on battery power, their gas engine allows them to travel even further distances. While some need to be plugged in, others generate their own electricity allowing them to effectively recharge themselves.
- Biodiesel: biodiesel is produced from a variety of sources including biomass and soybeans. It can be easily substituted for diesel in many cars without extensive modifications.
Additionally research into technologies such as the air powered car, in which cars are powered by compressed air, are showing great promise. It is likely that in the future of the cars we drive will bear little resemblance to the gas guzzlers of today. Going green is the future of the automotive industry.