Future car technology is now wide open. For instance,
with peak oil looming and future shortages of fossil fuels imminent
there has been much emphasis lately on cars that run on alternative
top and GM Sequel, bottom
Future car technology will most likely involve a whole host of
choices in regard to the fuel of choice.
Right now many automakers are gearing up for offering vehicles
that are able to run on ethanol or other biofuels (such as biodiesel),
which is the path of least resistance for the near future.
But, what about longer term? In the longer term, future car technology
will most likely involve cars that run on hydrogen, electricity,
air, nitrogen or even nuclear power. Some may see the nuclear-powered
car as the most far-fetched of all of the ideas, but this is a mistake.
In fact, in 1958 the first nuclear automobile was pioneered and
called the Ford Nucleon. The Ford Nucleon was a concept vehicle
that was supposed to be powered by a small nuclear reactor at the
rear of the vehicle fueled by radioactive material. No working prototypes
were ever built, however.
So, this is not the say that nuclear-powered cars will never be
part of the future. Car technology will most likely advance to the
state will this will one day be a likely fuel of choice.
But, what is here now? Hydrogen, electricity, air and nitrogen
cars all have had working prototypes built. In fact, in regard to
electric vehicles, production models have also been built. But,
the range of electric cars and their recharging rate have always
been their downfall.
So, this is where hydrogen cars step in. Hydrogen cars at this
writing can run from either internal combustion engines or fuel
cells. Some of the current models of hydrogen cars like the GM Sequel
have a proven driving range of over 300 miles in real world conditions.
The BMW Hydrogen 7 has rolled out as a lease vehicle and is a dual
fuel vehicle that can run off either liquid hydrogen or gasoline.
The Honda FCX was the first hydrogen car to be offered as a lease
in 2004 and now the second lessee, actress Q'orianka Kilcher who
played Pocahontas in the movie "The New World".
Electric cars also offer an option in regard to future car technology
if the aforementioned issues may be resolved. Companies like Tesla,
Zap and Phoenix Motorcars are making headway in developing these
vehicles for the marketplace.
And, then there is the MDI air cars which may be going over big
in Europe and India once the compressed air infrastructure is in
place. The MDI air cars also have an onboard compressor that plugs
into any outlet so this will help with vehicle acceptance.
So, far their has only been one nitrogen car prototype of note
and this is the CooLN2Car developed by the University of North Texas.
The car has stalled in development, however, due to lack of research
Two other parts of advanced car technology to note are the future
flying cars that will be taking flight over the next two or three
years and smart cars that will also be seeing the highways and
byways sometime in the future as well.
Written by Kevin Lepton