Alternative Energy Vehicles
Ok, I'm really wondering if alternative energy vehicles will look cool, still have some spunk and give me unlimited range. Tesla Motors does give me hope.
With the current push for green technology, lowering our carbon footprints and the ever increasing cost of gas, you may be wondering what your options are and what is in development.
Most cars run on fossils fuels or petroleum. Using alternative fuels such as solar power, electricity, biodiesel fuels, and others, we can now power cars without causing the emissions that fossil fuels create. These technologies are advancing more every day and one day we may be able to cut our dependence on foreign oil completely.
Today the most common types of alternative energy vehicles are hybrid cars. Hybrids run on gasoline and electricity at the same time, reducing the amount of fuel used but keeping the car functioning as well as regular gasoline powered vehicles.
Most electric cars are currently not for sale in the United States. Of those that are, many have to be charged often and do not drive far before needing a recharge. They also don’t go very fast. There are, however, a couple of new cars and more currently in development that will go as far as 100 miles on one charge. They do need to be charged for at least eight hours first.
Solar powered cars offers another option making great technological strides. Although there aren’t any solar powered cars for sale to consumers in America, China has unveiled a model that became available in October of last year. The car takes thirty hours to recharge to its full capacity, which will allow it to go up to 90 miles before needing another recharge. Most solar powered cars are actually hybrids of some sort. The electric/solar hybrid seems to be the most efficient and reliable so far.
Road Trip on Cooking Oil
Biodiesel powered cars are currently the most common alternative energy vehicles available in the United States. Biodiesel is one of the few alternative fuels that have actually been shown to provide the same performance as current petroleum based fuels. Biodiesel fuel will actually work in almost any engine that takes regular diesel fuel, often with no modifications to the engine at all.
In Hawaii, they make biodiesel from used cooking oil. Pumpers get the oil from restaurants and take it to the biodiesel processor where it is turned into fuel. Any plant that has oils can be used for biodiesel fuel, especially where it was not considered good enough to be rated food grade oil. Many cars in the US are run on diesel energy and can use biodiesel.
The future of alternative energy vehicles is looking brighter all the time. Technology is advancing faster, and finding more ways of generating power than ever before. We may one day see the end to America’s dependence on foreign oil, and have a cleaner, more efficient generation of vehicles.
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