A green dream of auto perfection
I have a dream for the perfect automobile. The engine would use diesel, biofuel blends, compressed natural gas, and electricity to get the first 30 to 45 miles from the electric grid (which could use oil, natural gas, coal or nuclear). Such an automobile would force price competition among alternative sources of energy.
This is the way we are headed. Oil prices above $80 a barrel are “death prices” for the oil industry.
They ensure that competition will rapidly come on stream because these prices make alternatives viable.
If it could be explained politically to the public, the government should put a floor under oil prices just to ensure this is the case forever.
I noticed that Honda has announced a gasoline/electric plug hybrid Accord for next year that will get the first 10-15 miles from an electric charge.
This is a good start, but 30 miles is a better target. Most people could get to work and back without using a drop of gasoline.
I also note that fracking is making natural gas very cheap relative to gasoline in the U.S. Engines that use compressed natural gas and gasoline or diesel are on the way. Not every vehicle would have to have all options.
The Volkswagen Passat is a pioneer in the small diesel/bio fuel market. Compressed natural gas is no stranger to the European market, where gasoline prices are much higher.
Ultimately, I want to see algae-based fuels replace all petroleum sources.
The Department of Defense is working full speed to plants in the United States to provide algae for use in military vehicles.
This is being done despite resistance from politicians representing the oil industry. Algae-based fuels are carbon neutral and will not contribute to global warming.
I expect they may be used first in shipping and trucking, areas where they have already been tested. There is ultimately a way out of fuel shortages and global warming.
William A. Johnson