What does the future hold for alternative fuels?

Sam Bisby

By: Sam Bisby

Motorists and experts alike are still debating on whether petrol or diesel-powered cars will take the larger presence on our roads in the coming years, but those looking even further into the future are wondering what new kind of fuel will be fighting for its share of the market.

Petrol and diesel have dominated for the last 100 years’ worth of motoring, but recent times have seen various alternatives on the cusp of becoming a real option and then fade away just as quickly. We still remain hugely reliant on non-renewable fossil fuels, but there is no denying that one day they will need to have a sustainable replacement.

Engineers and scientists are hard at work at the next big thing, although the question stands – what’s next in line for fuelling our cars?

 

Biofuel

This is a fuel that is already in use on a small scale and consists of corn, sugarcane and biodiesel made up of vegetable oils and animal fats. However, second-generation biofuels are made from sustainable sources rather than those grown for food and there are many that see this alternative to petrol and diesel as the most cost-effective.

 

Electricity

Many car manufacturers are already implementing such technology into their road cars and some have found a decent amount of success with the latest round of electric models. The current reservation for many, however, is the range of the batteries currently being used; some electric-only cars can only manage a maximum of 120 miles or so and others just 60-80.

Electric only cars also tend to be very expensive and out of people’s budgets, even after the government’s £5,000 contribution.

 

Hydrogen

One of the most promising alternatives, hydrogen is again an expensive potential fuel for cars, but at the same time is probably the most efficient and environmentally friendly. The only by-product of hydrogen-powered cars is water and would help the planet monumentally, and it can also be used to power fuel cells and produce electricity.

Hydrogen is certainly the best fuel for the future, but like conventional fuels, an infrastructure will need to be created and is something that will take plenty of money and time.

 

Admittedly, if any of these fuels are brought in to power cars on a mass basis, it’s going to need lots of cash to be spent by many parties of people – including those buying the cars.

However, most will say that any cost is worth spending in order to help the planet’s environment, and plus, in the long-term everybody stands to save amounts of money that could particularly outweigh the initial expense.

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