Some of these are more feasible than others, but they are all showing promise.
’s (Natural Gas Vehicles) are the most prominent out of the alternative choices. In fact, there are currently roughly 15 million units in use, primarily in Asia and South America. The majority of these are CNG (Condensed Natural Gas), which uses gaseous compounds, while the less popular LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) uses a liquid compound which is then converted to gas through combustion. The advantage to both of these methods is that the engine and other components do not corrode or rust as quickly as diesel, and many NGV’s have a mileage over 500,000km. The emissions are also cleaner, with average emissions reduced by 6-11%. A great example is the 2015 Skoda “Octavia” with CO2 emissions of 90-120 g/km.
vehicles are another example of innovations that have shown commercial potential. While most OEM’s are still conducting trial and error phases, Toyota has released the first hydrogen vehicle in December 2014. The “Mirai”, which can travel a distance of almost 700 kilometers and takes only five minutes to fuel with hydrogen, is the first step in a long process of producing this type of automobile for the masses. Similarly to the BEV’s, Hydrogen vehicles are technically ZEV’s, and release non-harmful water and heat as by-products. However, the production of hydrogen fuel once again is correlated with the actual emissions, and similar to BEV’s this number can fluctuate between 0 and over 200 g/km depending on country and efficiency of production. On top of this, since they are a new development, the price tag is often too high for everyday consumers.
Unfortunately, solar and wind energy vehicles have not had any commercial success, but the fact that they can run without plug-charging or combustion makes them intriguing for the future. For solar, there is a yearly competition known as the “World Solar Challenge,” where research teams present their innovations. One of the cars “Eve,” broke world records in 2014 when it traveled 500km on one charge at an average of 107km/h. Wind energy powered vehicles such as Mercedes “Formula Zero” have managed to reach peak speeds of 200km per hour, albeit it can only maintain these speeds for short periods of time.
Source: incadea 2015