-Transportation in the Future – Revamping the U.S. Transportation system by 2050
The technologies of traditional transportation require the use of fossil fuels for vehicle energy. The combination of the rising cost of fuel prices, and the detrimental effects of petroleum as a fuel source there has been an uprising interest in finding alternative in transportation technology.
For many years companies have been working diligently in advancing with the development of sustainable transportation alternatives, as discussed throughout the semester about the development of hybrid and electric vehicle technology. Hybrid Cars use a rechargeable energy storage system to supplement fossil fuel energy for vehicle propulsion. The hybrid’s smaller engines from the regular cars are more efficient, and have the capability to use a combination of different fuels such as petroleum and ethanol. Hybrid electric vehicles have a battery inside and are able to be charged from the main power. Hybrid cars also have the capability for an energy recovery mechanism, which slows a vehicle by converting its kinetic energy into a form which can be either used immediately, or it can be stored and used later on. Jaguar Land Rover will be building electric cars for Britain according to Fortune. According to Forbes Britain has committed to investing $485m for the introduction of autonomous cars and for the improvement of greener technologies for their cars. China has invested approximately $4.5 billion in 2015 to build electric cars in order to decrease its fuel imports as well as improve its air pollution. China automakers have introduced into the market various electric vehicle models; it was estimated that between January through October 2016 there were 337,000 new-energy vehicles, which includes all energy and plug-in hybrid vehicles. It is estimated that there will be approximately 5 million new energy vehicles on the road by 2020.
According to Feng An claims that by 2050 China’s transportation sector by introducing all motor vehicles free of exhaust emissions; China is strategically addressing its energy deficiency my implementing new-energy powered fast trains and bio-powered airships. Boats and ships will be able to be powered by underwater energy stored stations utilizing wave and solar energy. The future of transportation is full of new prospects. Various car companies are approaching the increase in demand for energy in various ways.
Another means of transportation is the introduction of vehicles powered by fuel cells. Japan is the dominant country which is introducing the hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. It has been estimated that approximately 40,000 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles will hit the road by 2020 as well as 160 fueling stations. The fuel cell vehicle is a type of electric vehicle which uses a fuel cell, instead of a battery, or in combination with a battery, to power its on-board electric motor.
Public Transportation in the Future – Solar-Powered Trains
What is in the future for public transportation? Californian Tom Hunt claims that renewable energy such as solar power trains can be utilized in the train system. The company Solar Trains LLC which has been founded by Tom Hunt has initiated the probability to construct a solar canopy over miles of the train tracks, enough to solar-power the nation’s electric train system. The concept is to install the solar panels above canopies instead of putting them on the trains and the trains would travel under the canopies. The introduction to use solar as canopies above the trains would result in trains going faster and more efficient. The use of solar train canopy has the capacity to reduce enormously the use of fossil energy on trains. Currently the NJ Northeast Corridor, Midtown Direct, North Jersey Coast and Raritan Valley Line use overhead wires to run its trains, just imagine if the system would convert to using solar powered trains there will never experience overhead wire problems due to temporary power loss. According to Hunt the trains would be more efficient. The Obama administration had provided funding for this type of rail improvement but the Republican governors declined. Currently California is making an attempt to improve its rail system for high-speed rail linking the Bay Area to Southern California, which will be entirely powered by electricity; this plan is a long time away from being completed. This type of rail system overhaul is a huge undertaking, which needs to be thought out carefully.
Public Transportation in the Future – Solar-Powered Cars
Solar powered cars get their energy from the sun by converting it into electricity. These cars are powered by electricity, which fuels the battery, which also runs the car’s motor, but some solar cars direct the power straight to an electric motor. Solar cars use photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into energy. One of the major benefits of a solar car is that they are efficient for the environment since they do not create greenhouse gases. The Solar powered car of the future would entail a car being covered in solar coatings which will be able to be charged up while going down the highway or being parked in a sunny spot. Currently, a German solar company by the name of Heliatek is introducing this idea whereby constructing a car whose sun roof is replaced by an organic solar cell windows.
Transportation in the Future – Fly Electric!
It has been projected that by 2025 Electric Planes will be the way to fly. In 2015 a plane was tested to fly in the French Alps. It was a two-seater aircraft, which ascended more than 20,000 feet in under two minutes, and reached speeds of 142 miles an hour; an overall flight duration of 300 miles. This plane did not burn any fuel and did not release any gases, and used an all-electric powered by a single battery. Engineers at the University of Stuttgart built the electric powered plane. It is estimated to be cost effective as well as safe to the environment. Currently it is estimated that an airplane releases around 500 million tons of carbon dioxide into the earth each year, which is an apparent factor for global warming; electric flight will replace petrochemical. By 2025 if these electric planes are utilized they have the capability to carry 100 passengers, and due to advances to these technologies flying might become cheaper in the long run.
Transportation in the Future – Fly Solar!
On July 13, 2016 after sixteen months and a 17-leg journey, a solar powered plane concluded it’s around the world flight touching down in Abu Dhabi. The plane as it is named “Solar Impulse 2”. The solar powered plane was the result of the commitment of providing clean air flying. The plane’s wings are compiled with 17,000 solar cells that power four electric motors. The solar cells recharge lithium batteries that allow the plane to fly at night. There are numerous improvements that need to be made; as such it might not be a means of air transportation any time in the near future. Flying solar is not a possibility now, but might be in 20 years from now with further research into alternative aircraft power.