Vehicles have come a long way from the Model T in the early 1900s. Each year the car industry comes out with new styles and incorporates new technologies. In recent history, the automotive world has shifted its focus to fuel efficiency and the use of different fuel sources. As the world tries to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, the global community is looking toward a future with a completely new type of car. There are already hybrid and electric cars on the roads today. What will the cars of the future run on? In this unit, you are going to do a little role-playing.
Welcome to YourTown, USA! YourTown is rethinking its strategy to encourage alternative fuel use. The city wants to develop a market and infrastructure to accelerate the number of citizens choosing alternative fuel vehicles. For this unit’s Discussion, you are going to be a citizen of YourTown. After conducting some research into different alternative fuels, you will vote for the one you believe will help guide the city in its efforts to support a better and cleaner future.
Use the following sources on alternative fuels to get started:
U.S. Department of Energy. (2012) Fuel economy. Retrieved from http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/current.shtml
U.S. Department of Energy. (2012) Alternative fuels data center. Retrieved from http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/
Use your research to complete the following three components to this unit’s discussion:
1.Conduct research on at least three alternative fuels or alternative vehicles (i.e., electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel, or biodiesel) and post your findings, including the pros and cons of each fuel and/or vehicle type. Feel free to research alternative fuel or vehicle choices outside of the examples given. Support your writing with credible references.
2.During the unit, you should interact with your classmates and debate how suitable you think these alternative fuel sources might be for the future of vehicle transportation and YourTown.
3.Later in the unit week, make a post that contains your vote for which alternative fuel source you believe YourTown should create a station for. Be sure to give a clear explanation for your choice.
Just response each posted down below # 1 to 3.
I think Hydrogen, biodiesel, and electricity ran cars will help guide the city to a cleaner and better future. Having a hydrogen powered car reduces our dependence on oil import, and no air pollutants are produced (EPA, 2012). Some cons of having a hydrogen powered car is storage. It will be more difficult to store hydrogen than it would be to store gasoline because it contains less energy per volume. You would have to fill up more often with this option.
Biodiesel is diesel fuel made from vegetable oils and animal fat. Using biodiesel produces less air pollutants and is safer to handle than petroleum diesel (EPA, 2012). Cost is a disadvantage of using pure biodiesel. It is currently more expensive to use this fuel alternative and is not suitable for use in low temperatures as it may damage your engine.
Electricity is an alternative fuel that can be used to power vehicles. Having electric powered cars would be cost effective and can have energy and emission benefits (EPA, 2012). Having an electric motor would be more efficient than having an internal combustible engine. A disadvantage of having a electric powered car is the vehicle range would be shorter than gasoline filled vehicle. You would have to recharge your vehicles which would take longer than fueling.
U.S Department of Energy. (2012). Alternative Fuels. Retrieved from
After researching the sites provided I found a few possible alternative fuels that I find quite interesting. First, there is ethanol, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, 2018 it is made from plant materials, and interestingly, there are several stations in my area, and the most commonly used is E10. Pros about this fuel based on my research are, that ethanol fuel helps reduce emissions, helps support the economy and offer energy security, for example, in 2017, the United States imported 19% of petroleum which could have been truly higher if ethanol was not produced domestically. Also, ethanol production helps create jobs. For example, production in 2017, attributed to over 71,900 jobs which in turn accounted for $45 billion to the gross domestic product and helped increase household incomes by $24 billion. The con that I found was the fact that ethanol contains less energy than that of one gallon of gasoline. However, the impact to the fuel economy varies which it depends on the energy difference in the blend of ethanol used.
The next alternative fuel is natural gas, which like ethanol is domestically made, and there are several locations in the NYC area where I live one such location is actually 2.2 miles from my home. Pros that I found noteworthy is the fact that like ethanol natural gas offers energy security, and helps support the economy. And is at a reasonably low cost, with emission benefits as well. Also, gasoline-based vehicles can be converted if the owner so chooses. The con that I found is that natural gas fuel effects the vehicle performance. For example, the driving range can be an issue, a vehicle that uses natural gas fuel will have less energy than that of a vehicle that uses gasoline or diesel fuel.
The last alternative fuel that I chose is electricity. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 2018 the pros to using an electrical or hybrid vehicle is that they help increase energy security, improve fuel economy while helping to lower fuel costs and they help reduce emissions. Also, the federal government offers a tax credit to drivers that purchase a hybrid vehicle as well as some state incentives. But, the con is that the cost of the vehicle is high, although, the pros far outway the con in this particular alternative fuel.
If I had to choose an alternative fuel the electric/hybrid fuel is the one I would go with for the simple fact that it helps our environment and makes for healthy living for all life on our planet. And, the hybrid vehicle can run on both electrical and gasoline, and where one falls short the other can pick up the slack as well as I won’t have to purchase fuel all that often so long as I keep the battery of the vehicle charged. As it is my husband drives a Honda, and he says he is not up for a change anytime soon;(
After doing some research, I found 3 types of alternative fuels that are great alternatives to gasoline. Ethanol is an obvious choice in the Midwest because it can be locally produced. Ethanol fuel is a blend of both ethanol and gasoline. There is a lot of gas stations that already offer E10 and E15 fuel which is a blend of 10% or 15% ethanol with the remaining gasoline. There is also E85 which is a percentage of roughly 51-83% ethanol mixed with gasoline. This fuel can only be used in flex fuel vehicles, which is a con. Pros of this type of fuel is all vehicles 2001 or newer can use this type of fuel safely without needing any type of engine conversion for E10/15, or in newer flex fuel vehicles of E85. This fuel emits lower transmissions into the atmosphere, but also uses less energy so there is a slight reduction in gas mileage (U.S., 2012).
Biodiesel is another great alternative to gasoline. This fuel is produced in the United States and is from renewable resources. Recycled oils, fats and grease are cleaner for the environment and are safer to handle than gasoline. This fuel can be used in almost all newer diesel vehicles. However, it is a more expensive option, must have a converted engine to use with fear of damage, and provides less power than gasoline (U.S., 2012).
And another alternative fuel is Hydrogen fuel. I didn’t know this even existed! There is no air pollutants meaning it’s a clean fuel. However, only fuel cell vehicles or internal combustion engines can use Hydrogen fuel. There is a select number of models available which are more expensive than typical vehicles, and the only state with stations with the fuel is in California. Another con is that vehicles using Hydrogen can only be used in areas where fuel is located since the gas mileage is significantly lower than gasoline vehicles (U.S., 2012).
I am excited to see other options that people find. This topic is extremely interesting to me!
U.S. Department of Energy. (2012) Fuel economy. Retrieved fromhttp://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/current.shtml