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Ecological Homes Hybrid Energy Cars


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How Efficient is Your Engine? The common internal combustion car

engine is extremely inefficient in its use of energy. Only 13% of the
energy produced by the engine is used in forward motion - 62% of the
energy is wasted because the engine has to be powerful enough to cope
with maximum demand even though this is required for only a very small
proportion of the vehicle's operating time.

Your Car is a Major Greenhouse Gas Emitter - This inefficiency is

largely responsible for the car being the source of between 70-90% of
atmospheric pollution and 14% of total greenhouse emissions in Australia
(Source: Environmental Impact of the New Australian Hybrid Cars, P.C.
Manins, CSIRO 2000

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Power Flow Chart of Toyota Hybrid Gas Electric Car

Zero Greenhouse Emission Cars - With increasing concerns about the

effects of greenhouse emissions on global climate, attention has been
growing on finding lower emission to zero emission vehicles (ZEV) which
has fueled a vast amount of research in designing energy-saving cars.
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40,000 Eco Aware
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Some of the energy-saving vehicles that have been developed by today's
from as little as top automotive researchers are all electric vehicles, which are low
$10 a month! maintenance, short range cars, hybrid vehicles, which use both electricity
and gas or diesel and can go longer distances, and fuel cell vehicles,
Click Here to some of which are virtually zero emission and are still in the stages of
Book Your Space being designed and tested.

Some electric cars and commercial models are beginning to enter the
market in the USA and Europe. However, these are limited by the lack of
a small enough battery that can store enough power to drive the car
sufficient distances. Consequently, automotive researchers have been
focusing more upon hybrid energy cars - cars that combine elements of
existing internal combustion engines with electric motors.

Hybrids are just one type of energy-saving

car that automobile manufacturers are
currently researching as energy-saving
"cars of the future". Two new hybrid
vehicles have been recently launched on
the Australian market: the Toyota "Prius"
(left) and the Honda "Insight" (below).

These cars are commercially produced and cost the average consumer
around $40,000. They use hybrid technology to power themselves, which
means that they are run both electrically and with a regular internal
combustion engine.

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Ecological Homes Hybrid Energy Cars

According to Toyota, the Prius has "a highly efficient gas engine
combined with an advanced electric motor to deliver the power to drive
Prius." You can read more about the Prius at Toyota's website

According to Honda, "The heart of the hybrid

system is Honda's innovative Integrated
Motor Assist (IMA™), which couples an
all-new 1.0 litre, 3-cylinder engine with an
ultra-thin electric motor for outstanding
performance and efficiency."

You can read more about the Insight at

Honda's site (

Hydrogen-Based (Fuel Cell) Cars

BMW Pioneering the Hydrogen
Car of the Future - BMW has
been trialling cars powered by
liquid hydrogen for the past few
years. According to BMW's Director
for Environmental Protection,
Manfred Heller, the test vehicles
are comparable in driving
performance to other models of the
popular 7 Series (see image on left).

Water Your Garden with Your Car! - Instead of producing

harmful carbon dioxide like petrol based cars, water is emitted.
According to Mr. Heller, one of the key objectives of BMW's
research and development is "to preserve fossil fuels and reduce
carbon dioxide emissions (which) can be achieved with clean
energy if the hydrogen fuel is produced by means of renewable

Hydrogen fuel can be produced through electrolysis. In electrolysis,

water comes into contact with energy and the water is split into its
component parts, hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen created is
stored, forming a source of pure hydrogen.

Fuel Remains Expensive - The main draw back for Hydrogen

powered cars at the moment is the expensive and energy intensive
process involved in creating the liquid Hydrogen. In addition,
existing gas stations will need to be fitted with liquid Hydrogen
pumps & storage vessels costing millions of dollars.

Solar Powered Hydrogen Cars? BMW's hydrogen powered

sedans toured the globe last year as part of the company's Clean
Energy World Tour 2001. The electrolysis process requires a
power source and BMW is hoping for a renewable source. One
possible solution is above our heads. The sun sends as much
energy to the earth in an hour as mankind uses in a year. The sun's
energy could be harnessed in solar power plants, for example, to
produce liquid hydrogen for the BMW 750hL.

10 Years Before Commercial Production? BMW engineer

Albrecht Jungk warned it was unlikely that hydrogen enabled cars
would be on the road any earlier than a decade from now: "Ten
years is the earliest estimation but because there is still a long way
to go with discussions between other parties like Shell and BP,"
Jungk said. "It shouldn't be anytime soon."

4 Times more Expensive Than Petrol - Jungk added that since

hydrogen was so expensive, it was making people opt between

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Ecological Homes Hybrid Energy Cars

clean or cheap. "At the moment hydrogen is about four times more
expensive than petrol," Jungk noted. "We cannot estimate whether
the price will decrease in time since no one can predict the price of

Fuel Cell Engines - How Do They Work?

Fuel cell electrics are vehicles that use an
electric motor like a battery electric, but
instead of batteries, power is provided by
a fuel cell.

A fuel cell is an electro-chemical device

that produces electricity from the
chemical interaction of hydrogen and
oxygen. Hydrogen gas and oxygen gas
(from ambient air) are brought together
after traversing a membrane. The
by-products of the reaction are
electricity, pure water, and heat.

Performance characteristics are similar to

those of electric vehicles. Experts
worldwide view fuel cells as the best
eventual replacement for the ICE!
Advantages of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars:

zero-emissions when hydrogen is used as the fuel (sadly,

carmakers are looking to obtain hydrogen through reformation of
hydrocarbon fuels (i.e. gasoline, methanol) and this reformation
emits air pollution);

quiet; low operating costs (similar to EV's);

extremely efficient (90% compared to 30% for gas engines),

although under load the efficiency decreases to 40 - 50%.

Disadvantages of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars:

relatively new technology - not yet consumer available (first

model not due out until 2004 or 2005);

storage methods (see below) still being developed, although

high pressure CNG cylinders are long tested and proven
extremely safe and reliable, as well as inexpensive;

refuelling infrastructure not yet in place

How Expensive is the Petrol Car vs the Hydrogen Car?

Sure, on the face of it, Hydrogen is the most expensive fuel option
for car transportation today. But what is the REAL cost of our heavy
reliance on the Internal Combustion Petrol Engine - a highly
inefficient and polluting form of transportation?

And what will be the price for our children? Are we robbing the
future of our children for our current wasteful and extremely
polluting way of life today? Petrol Cars are a major factor in life
threatening issues like Pollution and Global Warming. A Hydrogen
Fuel Cell car should be in every garage!

A Hydrogen Car in Every Garage! Significant financial assistance

and policy leadership is required from our Governments to make
the Fuel Cell car a reality and this is unlikely to happen without
substantial pressure from the public.

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Ecological Homes Hybrid Energy Cars

With our combined voice, we could be driving one of these futuristic

cars within 5 years. Without significant demands from the public,
the earliest you are likely to experience one of these cars will be on
the backseat of one of your children's or grandchildren's cars - 10
to 20 years from now!

Get Active for a Better Future! - Lobby Your Local

Parliamentarian to Introduce Research & Development Funding for
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars. Below is a link to a great online directory
of government bodies around the world - send them an email or a

Governments on the Internet (an online directory with more

than 17,000 entries from more than 220 countries and territories
around the world).

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