Green Vehicles

A green vehicle or an environmentally friendly vehicle is nothing but a motor vehicle that is comparatively less harmful to the environment than the conventional internal combustion engine vehicles that use gasoline or diesel. The body of European emission standards & United State Emission Standards define the acceptable limits for the exhaust emissions of new vehicles that are sold in Europe & USA respectively. So, technically speaking, any vehicle that meets the norms that are mentioned in these bodies directives such as LEVs (Low emission vehicles) and ULEVs (Ultra Low Emission Vehicles) is called Green Vehicle .
The Toyota Prius is the world's top selling hybrid car, with a total cumulative global sales of 2.0 million units by September 2010, and has became the icon of green cars.

These vehicles use advanced vehicle technologies and alternative fuels and include include hybrid electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, hydrogen, compressed-air vehicles, neat ethanol vehicles, fuel-cell vehicles , natural gas vehicles, clean diesel vehicles. Some have also experimented with blends of ethanol fuel and biodiesel.

A different line of thought says that a conventional motor car can also be termed as a green car if it has a high fuel economy (which is nothing but the usage defined in terms of relationship between distance traveled and the quantity of fuel consumed) as a car with a high fuel economy is the most cost-effective method to reduce vehicular emissions and improve the energy efficiency in the short run. The two main aims of Sustainable Transport or Green Vehicles is to: y y Minimize reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution To become energy independent by reducing oil imports

In the following discussion we would be talking about the four most relevant alternative Green Car Technologies namely:

Hybrid Vehicle

Fully Electric Vehicle

Air-powered Vehicle

Bio-fuel powered

Fuel-cell powered

Some hybrids also have a plug in system allowing them to recharge like a fully electric vehicle. Advantages: y y Fully electric vehicles do not produce any form pollution. Full electric vehicles use Rechargeable Electricity Storage System to provide power for movement. The discharging the battery to drive the motor is a pollution free action. cadmium. Fully electric vehicles are silent as they use a silent electric motor to drive the wheels Disadvantages: y The electric motors use batteries that typically contain metals like lead.Full Electric Vehicles Electric vehicles function on electric power typically supplied by an external source. This motor is capable of providing power equivalent to a standard internal combustion engine. There is hence a large amount of energy loss during every conversion. category are not refueled by simply plugging into an electric outlet.first from electricity to chemical (when the battery charges) and back. Fully Hybrid vehicles can run on only electricity or only conventional IC engine if the other source is depleted. y y Hybrid Electric Vehicle A hybrid electric vehicle combines the conventional internal combustion engine and an electric motor. These systems consist of high powered batteries in large numbers arranged in series. Fully electric vehicles have several advantages and disadvantages in terms of their environmental footprint. The energy used by the vehicle may not be renewable as the electric energy used to charge the vehicle is supplied by the local grid which may be fed by a non-renewable energy source like a conventional fossil-fuel power plant. The high powered batteries drive and electric motor that ranges from 100 to 200 KW. nickel alloys. All these batteries become non-biodegradable waste material once they have served their expected life. Following is an overview of the energy cycle of a typical hybrid: y Vehicle is supplied with conventional fuel at a petrol pump . Full electric vehicles unlike the others in the Nissan Leaf exhibited at the recent Tokyo Motor Show. These vehicles use modern drive train technologies to allow both stored electricity and the IC engine to combine their power and drive the hybrid vehicle. The energy is converted on multiple occasions. The most popular battery for electric vehicles is the Lithium ion battery.

A few of its advantages and disadvantages are: Advantages: y y y The vehicles are highly fuel efficient as opposed to conventional IC engine vehicles The vehicles are comparatively silent The vehicles are moderately polluting and emit 35% less CO2 as compared to normal cars. Modern HEVs also use regenerative braking. This is primarily due to the large levels of carbon emission during their manufacturing process They are underpowered as compared to an average IC powered vehicle . The hybrid is currently the most popular form of green vehicle . The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid able to run in all-electric mode up to 40 miles. the kinetic energy produced is converted to electric energy contributing the charging of the battery. Disadvantages: y y y The vehicles are quite expensive and a gestation period of a minimum of 5 years is required to cover up the costs in terms of fuel savings The vehicles have a large environmental footprint despite their fuel-conserving nature. Every time the driver brakes. The battery and IC engine contribute differently to the drive train depending on the speed of the vehicle.y y y The internal combustion engine drives the drive train and also works charges the rechargeable electricity storage system.

spark plugs. The pressure of the air drives the piston much like a convetional steam engine. starter motor. The energy required for compressing air is centralized making it less costly and more effective in terms of limiting carbon emissions. Highly pressurized air at about 30 MPa is stored in a tank and used to power the engine. One of the models is known as MiniCATS which is a three-seater compact Disadvantages: y y y The overall efficiency of a vehicle using compressed air as an energy source cannot exceed 14%. Managing the temperature in an air-powered engine is a difficult proposition Refueling or compressing air to fill the tank can take upto 4 hours to make the vehicle feasible .Compressed air vehicles These vehicles use compressed air as a source of energy. compressed air car are manufacture by a European manufacturer known as MDI. The Victor Tatin airplane of 1879 used a compressed-air engine for y Compressed air engines reduce the cost of vehicle production. even with a 100% efficient engine and typical IC engines are about 10-20% Extreme compression and decompression of air causes rapid heating and cooling. this can be used for air conditioning Hazardous chemicals such as gasoline and battery acids/metals are avoided completely Currently. or mufflers] y The rate of idle-discharge is low as opposed to batteries that deplete their charge slowly over time. because there is no need to build a cooling system. The vehicle may be left idle for longer periods of time than electric cars. There are several advantages and disadvantages to using compressed air to power vehicles: Advantages: y Refueling can be done easily using an air compressor. y y Expansion of the compressed air lowers its temperature.

y It has a higher octane rating y Roughly ethanol prices are 30% lower than that of gasoline (though it fluctuates locally based on seasonal harvests). Fuel cells purpose is similarly to a conventional battery.D. in winters) as it is less volatile than say. All fuel cells are made up of three parts: an anode. Bio-gas The Ford Model T was the first commercial vehicle whose engine was capable of running on gasoline or ethanol. Ethanol is electrically conductive (gasoline is an insulator) which may sometimes cause a problem in the engine Corrosion of aluminum and magnesium parts of the engine Fuel Cell Vehicle A FC vehicle (FCV) is a kind of hydrogen vehicle which utilizes a fuel cell to create its on-board motive power.Bio-fuel powered vehicles: Different types of bio-fuels can be used in cars for e. Advantages: y It is a biomass fuel which effectively addresses harmful vehicular emissions (though not as much as other alternatives) vis-à-vis fossil fuels. y With a small amount of engine redesign. Bio-diesel. Bio-alcohol/Ethanol. gasoline. they are re-filled with hydrogen. The trend revived during the Oil Price Shocks of the 1970s. petrol-powered cars can run with ethanol concentrations of as high as 85% as opposed to the current norm of 10-15% y It consumes upto 35% less energy per volume as compared to petrol. Different . In Bio-alcohols both ethanol and methanol are used though ethanol has gained more favour as it s a renewable source easily obtainable from starch or sugar in agricultural produce. but instead of recharging. This leads to a better fuel E85 fuel sold at a regular gasoline station sold in Washington. or a mix of both.g. people started becoming more aware of its long term eco-advantages over using conventional fossil fuels. Fuel cells generate electricity to power an electric motor using hydrogen or a reformed hydrocarbon fuel and oxygen from the atmosphere. The use of alcohol in car technologies was limited till 1919 (in US) after which it died out due to the criminalization of the production of alcohol. Also.C. a cathode and an electrolyte. economy Disadvantages: y y y y Food v/s fuel debate: the trade-off between usage of agricultural produce for food or fuel? It is harder to start its engines (esp.

thereby causing lesser pollution in contrast to motor vehicles using petrol The Boeing Fuel Cell Demonstrator powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. Regenerative FCs etc. . Solid Oxide FCs. Phosphoric Acid FCs. Direct Methanol FCs. These cells emit mainly heat and water.kinds of fuel cells include Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells.

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