The Future For Automobiles: Alternative Energy Sources

1109 words - 5 pages

Gasoline makes the world move, literally! It is an essential product required for the common internal combustion engine to operate. This fuel gives our automotive engines the energy needed to move. However, this wonder fuel is not without its problems and side effects. Companies have started to understand how much of a concern this has become to their customer base and they realized that a fuel-efficient automobile is becoming very important to the consumers. Unfortunately, engineers can only design so many improvements before the internal combustion engine becomes too costly to manufacture. To combat this automobile manufacturers are looking at alternative ways to replace or help supplement the internal combustion engine. The most popular alternative means we see today are, but not limited to Gas/Electric Hybrid, Diesel Fuel, and of course an all-Electric Drive. There is a major shift into alternative fuels and electric drive cars.
Gasoline/Electric Hybrid cars were one of the first of alternative fuel vehicles to be hit mass production. A very simple and basic explanation on how they operate is that the vehicle contains a small, low displacement combustion engine with electric motor/s placed in specific locations. The drive system intelligently switches between the two drive systems based upon how you are driving or if you switch modes manually. Further increasing the advantages of hybrid cars, they have developed a Regenerative Braking system. This is the most widely found in use technology designed to help the electric drive motors last longer by capturing the energy created from when you apply your brakes and converting it into electricity. According to the US Energy and Information Association, there are about 2.5 million hybrid cars/trucks on the road in the United States alone. That is about 11% of the total automobile market, which may not seem like much, but considering in 2010 there were only about 1.8 million. When you look at the advantages of what a hybrid can offer are fewer emissions, longer drive distances, and less fuel usage it’s easy to understand why they keep growing in popularity, to put it simply they save you money. Despite the saved money, the low displacement engine means less power, which translates into a slower moving vehicle.
For those who want to get a few extra MPGs without sacrificing the power to move a little bit quicker, there is a new trend towards Diesel fuel. The differences from a diesel engine to a regular gasoline engine are rather small and simple, so much so that most people do not really understand what is different. For starters diesel engines don’t use spark plugs, they use something called a glow plug; a glow plug is like a spark plug except that it’s like a toaster filament it gets tremendously hot only when the engine is first started to ignite the fuel. Once the engine is, running the glow plug turns cold and never turns on until the driver starts the engine again or the combustion chambers...

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