Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Rising prices of gasoline and fuel shortage has led to popularity of vehicles that run on alternative fuel. Past decade has seen great thrust on technological researches in alternative fuels.. Due to distinct requirements of different sectors in transportation, the technologies vary. Passenger vehicles, public transport vehicles and freight transportation carry specific needs that are difficult to be met by a single alternative fuel technology. Some of the major and most popular of these technologies, where majority of research and development has taken place, are (Aldrich, 1996).

1. Electric Vehicle. 2. Natural Gas 3. . Hydrogen and 4. Fuel Cells. Following section discusses the advantages of each of these types of alternative vehicles and their benefits over conventional gasoline based internal combustion engine. Electric Vehicles: In the case of a typical electric vehicle, hydrogen fuel cell or chemical batteries such as advanced sealed lead battery, nickel cadmium and lithium ion are used for auxiliary power (Aldrich, 1996Electric vehicles offer numerous benefits over the conventional gasoline based ICE, some of which are (Hybrid Electric Vehicles, 2007; Sanna, 2007, 12; Aldrich, 1996, 88 )

Highly energy efficient as chemical energy is directly converted to electrical energy without any combustion Extremely high power density where a very small quantity of fuel can provide very high power. This is the reason why fuel cells are used in space flights-their compact size and high power make them ideal for space shuttles. Most environment friendly as the only byproduct of the process is water vapour. Disadvantage Extremely high cost that make them unaffordable for private or commercial use Conclusion

Based on this discussion, it can be seen that natural gas (CNG) offers the best all round solution to the problem of gasoline shortage and rising fuel costs. Currently supplies of natural gas are abundant and switching over to them makes sound economic sense. It would also create an additional buffer time for development of further sets of alternative fuel technologies that would some day dispense with the need of petroleum based fuel options. Reference Bob Aldrich.. ABCs of AFVs: a guide to alternative fuel vehicles. California Energy Commission, Sacramento-CA. April 1996. April, 2008. http://www. p2pays. org/ref/26/25156. pdf

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