Alternative Fuel And Vehicle Technologies

INTRODUCTION

In today’s world, scientists, analysts, and researcher are continuously looking to find effective fuel optimum solution to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Though, there are considerable research going on to mitigate CO2 from existing fuel. Currently, Ethanol has great potential to minimize CO2 from air as it’s blend with agricultural products and most of the existing vehicles support ethanol. On the contrary, LPG is directly derived from natural gas and increases sustainable balance within the environment. However, on recent invention i.e. hybrid technology, known as electric vehicles have more wider benefit to the environment as well as ensuring ‘0’ carbon emission on air.

In most of the developing countries like, USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, electric vehicles are becoming more popular because of environmental concern and cost of energy.

This hybrid technology also increases battery storage capacity as a result this become viable solution for modern transportation. Battery better known as lithium composite phosphate (LCP) is rechargeable which uses LiFePO4 as cathode material and mostly used in portable items like cell phone, camera and laptops. Thus, most of the auto maker companies now a days becoming more environmental conscious and according to demand they now more focus on introducing new model of electric vehicle.

ALTERNATIVE FUEL FOR VEHICLES

Ethanol

In Australia, most of the vehicles run by ethanol but yet nobody knows how ethanol can affect their vehicles. A recent figure shows, 30 percent of Australian vehicles will be affected by 10 percent of ethanol. Though, the main agriculture products used to produce ethanol in Australia are wheat, wheat starch, sugarcane and sorghum. However, the main advantage of using ethanol is, organic and reduces air pollution but major disadvantage is it burns quickly. Currently, there are four types of ethanol available worldwide, such as E10, E85, E22 and E100 where in Australia E10 and E85 are available and others are still on consideration.

E10 in Australia

After 1st of July 2003, 10 percent ethanol was allowed to mix with normal petrol and blending higher than 10 percent require engine modification as it was identified that using E20 with 20 percent mix often makes trouble on unmodified engines.

Problems of E10 (E-10 Ethanol Fuel Problems, n.d)

1. Ethanol 10 damages vehicle engine and carburetor.

2. Water above 5 percent cause serious damage on the vehicle’s performance.

3. Water freezing in winter causes serious effect on performance.

E85 in Australia

E85 is suitable for flex fuel vehicles and currently only Caltex is selling on 40 retail stores (Monitoring of the Australian petroleum industry, 2011). Though E85 is very environmentally suitable but not suitable for all engines especially, trucks, busses as it damages the fuel system.

Problems of E85

1. Burns quickly compared to other petrol.

2. Decrease vehicle’s millage per gallon up to 15 to 25 percent compare to other gasoline

3. Prices of E85 are more convenient compare to performance and per km.

CURRENT POLICY OF ETHANOL IN NSW

According to NSW government, 2 percent mandate policy for ethanol, wholesalers require to make up to the minimum 2 percent of total volume of NSW sales (Graham, Reedman, Poldy, 2008).

POTENTIAL ADVANTAGE AND DISADVANTAGE FOR ETHANOL

The main advantage of this new policy will be benefitted on new vehicles. However, considering the sustainability issue on environment, ethanol could be future fuel for all vehicles. On the other hand, though ethanol is an environmentally friendly fuel but yet in Australia, availability of ethanol are insufficient in different places. The reason behind is, as ethanol mainly based on agriculture products, farmers are reluctant to produce crops in higher price for fuel besides inadequate government subsidy also a major factor on ethanol price.

COMPARISON OF COST AND CARBON EMISSION BETWEEN E10 AND E85

Cost of E10

The prices of E10 are very sensitive in different petrol stations in Australia. Most of the petrol companies in Australia have freedom to fix the price in accordance with standard fuel quality.

Site Name and Price of E10 ($)

Budget Strathfield $1.34

Caltex/Woolworths Taren Point $1.35

7 Eleven Sans Souci $1.35

Caltex/Woolworths Strathfield $1.36

Caltex/Woolworths Miranda $1.37

Caltex/Woolworths Carnes Hill $1.37

Source: My price search, MotorMouth Pty Ltd, 2012 (Updated, 10/04/2012)

Carbon emission rate E10

Though there are not huge differences on regular petrol; E10 only saves 5 percent of gas emissions and the full cycle emission (t CO2-e/kL) is 2.44 compared to 2.56 to regular petrol.

Cost of E85

Currently, only in few petrol stations are have E85 fuels which is difficult for consumers to switch to E85. Generally, the price ranges in different petrol stations approximately $124 to $135.

Carbon emission rate E85

Compare to other fuels, E85 has lower rate of emission on greenhouse. Generally, on an average 15,000 miles per year, 372 grams/mile (approx) CO2 can be reduced only using E85.

LPG IN AUSTRALIA

LPG is the combination of 50 percent propane and 50 percent butane and western Australia has the largest reserve of this natural gas (What is LPG? 2011). Generally, LPG powered vehicles produce less CO2 to the environment i.e. 203 gm CO2 0e/km. According to the RARE consulting; using LPG might reduce 13 to14 percents carbon dioxide from air (Wong, 2011). In Australia, due the huge demand of energy requirements, LPG could be an alternative solution for vehicles, industrial or household use in coming years.

CURRENT POLICY OF LPG IN NSW

According to LPG Australia, current policy, “LPG industry will support government to ensure sustainability as well as future energy sources to reduce carbon and ensuring LPG achieve a level of capability to support government’s alternative fuel requirement; LPG market will require transitional support to achieve 10 percent of transport energy requirements”(LPG Australia policy, 2010).

POTENTIAL ADVANTAGE AND DISADVANTAGE FOR LPG

Using LPG in vehicle not only matches with current policy but also ensure affordable environmental solutions. The main advantage of LPG is, it burns clearly on air and it’s 60 percent cheaper than other petrol. It should be noted, LPG also increases engine life for vehicles. On the contrary, the potential disadvantages are LPG convertastion cost i.e. approximately between AUD 2000 to 2500 as well as maintenance cost of engine. One more drawback is performance compare to fuel driven vehicle, is way too low and high risk involved while installing LPG cylinder in all vehicles.

COST AND CARBON EMISSION COMPARISON OF LPG

Cost of LPG

Australia has vast reserves of LPG for next 30-50 years. This means, price of LPG will be lower due to high availability. The annual average price of LPG is 54.5c.

Site name and Price ($)

Caltex Crossroads Truckstop $0.72

BP Kemps Creek $0.78

Caltex/Woolworths St Marys $0.79

Caltex/Woolworths Surry Hills (Redfern) $0.79

Caltex/Woolworths Kingswood $0.79

Caltex/Woolworths Werrington $0.79

Source: My price search, MotorMouth Pty Ltd, 2012 (Updated, 11/04/2012)

Carbon emission rate of LPG

In Australia, the rate of carbon emissions compare to other types of fuels are relatively higher than LPG. According to the department of sustainability, environment, water, population and communities in Australia, in every litre of petrol used in the vehicle, 2.3 kg CO2 are released into the air (Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, 2008).

CO2 Tailpipe Emissions/Liter of Fuel Consumed

Fuel Type CO2- Emissions

Petrol -2.3 kg

LPG -1.6 kg

Diesel -2.7 kg

Source: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, 2008

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

The invention of technology Electric Vehicle is the ultimate way for zero carbon emission on environment without any doubt. This has been proven, EVs are twice more efficient than normal petrol driven vehicles. This is mainly because of, the battery inside EV is more productive as it uses renewable energy i.e. solar sources. In 2006, Australia greenhouse gas emission rate was 576 million tones where 89 percent tons was generated only from road transport.

CURRENT POLICY FOR BATTERY EVs IN NSW

Carbon emission Policy: NSW government is currently introducing the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) which restrict air pollution capacity on industry which currently defined as ‘Carbon Tax’. Though, this policy create controversy on media people and business entities. As a result, currently, many companies, industry are protesting against this policy and as a matter of fact, this policy now on under consideration.

POTENTIAL ADVANTAGE AND DISADVANTAGE FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE

The main potential advantage of this policy is to eliminate harmful pollution from the environment and reduce dependency on oil. On the contrary, since electric vehicle in new on market and there is no sufficient infrastructure, plant, station available for people, this will create huge problems for people while travelling long distance. More precisely, fully battery powered vehicle can travel up to 160 km and after that if there is no service station to recharge the battery then this will become a serious matter for travelers. A part form this, price of purchase electric vehicles are higher than normal vehicles such as start from $20,000 which is beyond of thinking for common people.

COST AND CARBON EMISSION OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE

Cost of electric vehicle

To charge the battery of an electric vehicle, costs only 1 to 3c per kilometre depending on location and demand.

Carbon emission rate of electric vehicle

Electric vehicle can produce 27 percent (i.e. 164 g/km) less CO2 than petrol vehicle (Better place, 2011).

CONCLUSION

This is very clear from above analysis, ethanol, LPG and electric vehicle can provide sufficient benefit to environment but comparing various factors and investigate different current issues; we can say, purchasing LPG or converting into LPG could be ultimate solution on price and environment. The main reason is, LPG has lower emission rate, cheap cost and availability of natural resources in Australia. Though, ethanol and electric vehicle requires government support, which require large amount of investment. In recent news shows, carbon reduction through electric vehicle is a mere ‘fantasy and also stated electric vehicle produce higher emission than petrol because of the energy consumption while manufacturing batteries. On the other hand, switching to EVs requires 16 percent extra electric capacity which is equivalent to 10GW or six nuclear stations (Jha, 2010). Therefore, considering the above facts, purchasing an LPG vehicle will be most beneficial.

Off Road Vehicles and Electric Golf Cars

The uses and versatility of off road vehicles have made them a great choice amongst drivers. These are basically the means of transport that can be driven on and off the paved or rock-strewn surface. The basic features that characterize these automobiles are caterpillar tracks in general. These have large tyres with deep yet open treads.

The tyres have flexible suspension to be able to drive beyond the pavement. They need to have low ground pressure so that these do not sink into a soft ground. In order to not to lose traction, these need to keep their wheels on the ground. Also these have high road clearance which is indispensable so that they could move and perform efficiently.

With the advent of luxurious game, Golf, considering enough travelling across the sheer size of playing course, electric golf cars came into being. Being electrically induced, these emit low noise and are priced low. To avoid it from getting hung up on obstacles, these are accompanied with additional tyres in combination to flexible and tall suspensions.

You can also customize utility vehicles and golf vehicles and outfit with a variety of assortments. You can find them easily online at sale prices along with reasonably low priced accessories. Spending money on these is not simply eco-friendly, but also it alleviates your lifestyle.

What are the common examples of these ways of transport?

The common machinations available are-

• Land rovers
• Jeep
• Lorries
• Pickup trucks
• Military vans
• General hummer
• All terrain vehicles
• Rock crawlers
• Sand rails
• Dune buggies and
• Dirt bikes

What utility do these provide you?

• The equipment can easily handle rough climate conditions and do not slip over mud or slopes

You can also attempt to drive them over the wet mud without getting stuck. There are different types of gears with a variety of tyres to give an overall off-roading momentum.

• Can easily rover over terrain
They are in general suitable for routes that are chief along un-surfaced tracks, rock terrains, forest tracks and older roadways.

• Yields high performance
These are based on standard models of automobiles and the designs made to meet the specific trekking demands, they are supposed to yield higher performance. Their sturdy tyres and expert technology indeed builds them powerful moving parts.

• Can be customized as well
They can also be designed as per your customized preferences and needs. There are certain specific requirements to be imparted into these equipment for the purpose of defense and military travelling.

Furthermore, low gearing allows the engine to move slowly and comfortably from a challenging terrain. Generally, these equipment have four wheels to maintain traction even on the slippery terrains.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars vs Electric Cars – Which Is Really The Car Of The Future?

With gas prices being so high, alternative fuel vehicles have become a popular topic. Two of the types of vehicles that tend to get a lot of press are the hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles and electric powered vehicles. Both are lauded as the way of the future

But which of these two options are really has the better chance of being the car your children drive.

Let’s look at hydrogen fuel cells first. When burned in an engine, the only emissions giving off is water, so a hydrogen powered vehicle is a zero emission vehicle. Hydrogen is also a better fuel than gasoline, it actually has the highest energy content per unit of weight of any known fuel.

Hydrogen is also a very abundant element. While current methods for making hydrogen are done by using fossil fuels, such as natural gas, coal, and oil, American wouldn’t be dependent on foreign oil anymore. Also, hydrogen can be extracted from water, and we all know there’s a lot of water on this planet.

However, hydrogen is not without its share of drawbacks. Probably the biggest problem right now is that it would require an entire new infrastructure. While gas stations could be outfitted with hydrogen fueling stations that would take years. Also, the technology to store hydrogen efficiently is still not ready for prime time.

Then there’s the electric car. Electric cars can also be considered zero emission vehicles since they give off no emission when running. However, electric cars do require power from the electric grid, which does give off emissions. As the electric grid gets cleaner, though, so do electric cars, and electric powered cars are substantially less polluting than gasoline powered cars due to the fact that power plants are far cleaner and more efficient than an internal combustion engine in a vehicle.

The technology for mainstream electric cars is also not quite ready for all the major manufacturers to stop making gasoline powered cars, but it’s much closer than hydrogen currently is. The challenge with electric cars right now is the batteries. The batteries are both expensive and current models, like the Tesla Roadster, have a range of only 250 miles – great for commuting, but not so good for road trips. The other problem is the length of time these vehicles take to charge. It’s not simply a matter stopping at your local power station and plugging in for five minutes and leaving. A typical charging cycle for current prototypes is 4-5 hours – again, fine if you’re commuting, but impossible for a road trip. While technology is being developed to make charging your vehicle as quick as quick as filling up with gas, it has a ways to go before it’s ready, just like hydrogen fuel cells.

Fleets of electric cars will certainly be hitting the roads sooner hydrogen fuel cell cars, but which one ultimately ends up being the vehicle of choice for American drivers remains to be seen as both have plenty of challenges to overcome before people will readily give up their cheap gas powered cars in favor of these alternatives.