Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Future of Travel

Oil reserves are one day going to run out. That is a fact, the very nature of fossil fuels mean that once used, they will not replenish for millions of years, at which point it is likely that the human race will not still be in existence.

The whole logistics of modern civilisation is built upon the assumption that the Earth’s resources are never-ending, indeed, the basis of capitalism is that everything will continue to get bigger, better, more efficient. At the moment, the world is totally reliant on fossil fuels, although there are nuclear power stations and an increasing number of renewable energy plants there are no way near enough alternative options currently in place to sustain mankind’s energy needs.

However, there are far more concerns than just the mains electricity consumption to deal with, the end of oil reserves would mean no more conventional cars. This would be an utter disaster; the world would grind to a halt in literally a couple of minutes.

Ever since Ford released the Model T in the early Twentieth century, much of the general public has had the opportunity to travel relatively cheaply, with almost no limits, but with the rise of gas bills in the last few years, this apparent right has become somewhat of a privilege for many.

It is not just the price of driving to the store, picking children up from school or visiting distant relatives have increased with the rising price of oil, the price of everything goes up, due to the nature of the infrastructure of western civilisation. From massive containers ships to local delivery trucks, the cost of transporting goods have increase dramatically. So what is the solution?

For many years electric cars have been heralded as the answer, however, there is a huge fundamental flaw in this, the electricity needed to power these vehicles come from fossil fuel burning power stations! Electric goods in cars are not, however, fundamentally flawed so if we think in the present for 30 seconds then you may be interested in using a Crutchfield coupon code to get a discount and make the most of our gas guzzling machines while we still have them!

A more revolutionary idea is the Hydrogen powered car. The strange thing is that the British physicist Sir William Grove first invented the Hydrogen powered cell in 1842, more recently it was used on the space shuttle Endeavour to create on board electricity, whilst simultaneously using its waste products (pure water) to provide drinking water for the crew. The hydrogen fuel cells are more than twice as efficient as their oil counterparts, there are no pollutants released, and no chance of an ecological disaster due to an oil spill, and finally, Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, we will never run out! So why hasn’t it already been used for the mass market?

One problem is that hydrogen in its pure form is hard to come by, although abundant, it is often joined to other molecules, needing an energy input to convert to the useful form. Secondly, the transportation is difficult; it needs to be stored at very high pressures, which is both expensive and dangerous.

Thirdly, it will take large amounts of money to make it available to the general public, a high risk venture which could end in failure. However, if it is successful, then not only will the company who achieve this feat make huge sums of money, but will go down as one of the most revolutionary ventures since Ford and their Model T.


About This Blog

Blog Archive

  © Free Blogger Templates Blogger Theme by 2008

Back to TOP