It is interesting to see in my lifetime the importance of a fuel source and the impact it has had on foreign policy, underlying agendas, and strains felt by everyday citizens. For rural citizens all around the world, fossil fuels are the way to get from point A to B. Without these fuels, farm machines cease to function and all progress is halted almost instantly as these individuals are setback hundreds of years without their equipment. So how is it that we as citizens all over the world have become so reliant, and how can we change our source of energy from fossil to renewable? As we see several industrialized countries making small strives to rid their dependence from oil, Brazil using sugar ethanol to the several nuclear reactors in France to wind turbines in the UK. These are drops in the buckets but install a little hope as our world’s exploding population will ultimately mean more users of whatever energy is available.
With vehicles being the main target for efficiency with fossil fuels and alternatives, we are experiencing the vehicle in the midst of a paradigm shift as stricter emissions regulations, fuel-mileage standards and more are causing automotive manufacturers to develop fuel saving technologies such as more attention to the drag coefficient as well as optimization of fuels by using direct-injection technology and higher compression ratios in the engines which help burn the fuels more thoroughly. Although government and union intervention is certainly up for debate as to their effectiveness, we do see drivers taking notice when prices of their fuels go up. Looking at the latest in automotive news we see the electric
cars as well as natural gas and bio-diesel converted vehicles are continually rising in sales along with the various forms of hybrid drive systems. The issue that arises is what your average consumer is going to back, but if we look at history we see that this has always been the case with consumers.
Like electronic devices that come out, the first buyers throw price aside in order to have the privilege of ownership. Once more items are sold then the manufacturing process and the technology catches up in order to make less expensive versions. So with this happening with larger auto manufacturers we will see cheaper and more efficient vehicles in the near future. But thanks to a number of variables such as alternative fuel vehicles as well as high gas prices, individuals are becoming more efficient in general. One problem is getting these technologies to third world countries where they are using older and less efficient vehicles yet still have a high average of cost per liter of petrol. A Canadian shipping
company backed by an American investor T. Boone Pickens is converting their semi-trucks’ engines to except up to 70% propane mix which burns far cleaner than diesel and saves the company a fortune in the long run thus lowering their overhead costs and driving competitors to follow suit or lose the ability to compete in the market. For electric cars we see pioneers such as Elon Musk with his company Tesla Motors developing impressive vehicles that so far have proven safe, fast, sexy, and efficient. This company has certainly grabbed the attention of major auto manufacturers to get started on developing luxury electrics in the future. So for the rest of us we simply just need to wait for the trickledown effect
to take place so we can take advantage of the technology as well. The performance car enthusiasts have been doing the same thing with F1 cars for years.
The Above Article was written by Chris Riley, an avid automobilante!! ( I totally made that word up )
And here is his blog, Gear Heads, anything and everything you need to know about anything and everything on 4 wheels!