As a finite resource, oil and, in turn, petrol and diesel, are eventually going to run out. For car lovers everywhere, this means that an alternative has to be established; otherwise it may be a return to the days of horse and cart for all of us.
Of course, the environmental impact from using, refining and also finding oil and fossil fuels are vast and it has a significant negative impact on the environment. The only way to counter these issues is to find an alternative that allows us cheap, clean and also plentiful energy – so, here are some of the alternatives in the pipeline for those car leasing or car buying in the future.
PV panels are quite a common sight on homes these days and can produce enough power to heat homes. However, though this use has been well documented there are still lots of issues with using solar power to fuel cars. Solar panels are expensive and also aren’t efficient enough in small enough areas to power an auto as of yet; they also are quite expensive. However, like all technologies, solar is becoming increasingly efficient and also falling in price, meaning someday it could be a feasible option.
The holy grail of power sources for cars. Hydrogen power is readily available if only the car industry can crack how to use it. The creation of a suitable hydrogen fuel cell is currently beyond us, though it would work by creating electricity through a petrochemical reaction and all we’d need would be hydrogen and oxygen.
The distillation or fermenting of crops has been used to make people merrier for millennia now, however it could also be used to create more efficient, greener cars. By blending ethanol with petrol it is possible to increase octane levels and also the quality of the emissions discharged from cars. However, it involves the use of crops as fuel, which some considers a waste of food and also still uses gasoline, making it a less than perfect answer.
Of course, we currently use electric cars on the road, whether in the form of a hybrid or a pure EV. These work on battery power and are charged through an electric source. These fuel cells can produce energy without the need for combustion or pollution; however they do require the creation of electricity from a third party.
Made from animal and plant fats, biodiesel is often taken from restaurant kitchens and then used in modified engines. It is also possible to mix it with diesel and petrol and use it in unmodified engines. Biodiesel is a safe, biodegradable alternative that causes a fall in air pollutants relative to petrol or diesel.
Whatever the future of motoring, it is something that has to be found sooner than later for the good of humanity and the planet.
Cormac Reynolds works for First Vehicle Leasing a UK car contract hire company.