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Top 5 green car technologies

exhaust.jpgGreenbang has once again been reading far too Nick Hornby of late. The king of top five lists has once again inspired her. Wandering around the show floor at the Green Car Guide Live! show Greenbang has compiled her top five green vehicle technologies available today.

1) Carbon capture – plain, simple and does exactly what it say on the tin. Carbon capture means the CO2 can be stored before it’s emitted into the atmosphere. The only question remaining is what to do with it, running it through algae is the main solution. The other is selling dry ice in Walmart, apparently.

2) EC control units – the EC is the car’s brain. Computer technology is getting to the stage that an individual’s driving style can be followed and catered for to make the car as green as possible. As this improves further expect further reductions in emissions.

3) Hybrid vehicles – With hybrid vehicles already being used in sport and battery technologies, such as lithium ion, constantly improving these could become vastly more efficient. More ways are being created to charge the batteries using wasted thermal energy the cars and even companies with vast fleets, such as Tesco, see these as the future for their vehicles.

4) Aerodynamics / weight removal – the oldest and still one of the best. Oaktec’s hybrid rally car driver, Paul Andrews has states that this, “keeps coming and going with car design fashions” but it is a “something for nothing technology.” Making a car carry less weight and move through the air more easily means an instant reduction in the emissions. And, Greenbang at least thinks, they’re beautiful… just look at an F1 car.

5) Algae – Greenbang knows she has a habit of droning on about this one but since it delivers carbon neutral fuel and needs only sunlight, CO2 and river water it has a great potential to minimise the reliance on oil and natural gas.

In addition to the this, many experts also listed a future technology:

6) Electro-thermal recapture – converting the thermal energy wasted from the exhaust back into electric power. It’s not available yet but, according to Origo Industries’ Ian Houston and Oaktec’s Paul Andrews, both believe the exhaust is the greatest waste of energy in the car and that this will be the next big leap for the hybrid car industry.

1 Comment

  • A3k
    Posted June 12, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    IF algae can be grown economically, the potential scale of it is game-changing, so the droning is called for. The problem is that huge IF at the beginning. Someone needs to do some real reporting on this to determine how far away any of the 200+ companies started so far to try to exploit this idea are from producing fuel at competitive prices. Or at least a projection of the price of a gallon of bio-diesel and a gallon of ethanol from this process.

    None of the reporting has stated whether the price of the algal bio-diesel would be $3/gal, $5/gal or $200/gal, so there’s no basis for anyone to be enthusiastic at this point. There hasn’t even been basic reporting on the different engineering challenges from delivering light and nutrients to the algae to harvesting and processing the biomass. There are significant challenges at each stage and none of it is being reported at all.

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