What might power cars in the future?

The car was an invention that irreversibly changed the course of human history. The precursor to the existence of cars was the invention of the engine. An engine of a car is what allows it to move and do work. In the most basic definitions, an engine is a device that transforms one form of energy into work; that is, motion. In the system of a car, this allows one form on energy to be converted into motion, allowing the car to move. The invention was revolutionary as it allowed travelling greater distances while carrying heavy loads. The previous alternative was pack animals such as donkeys and horses which couldn’t carry as much weight, and required food, water, and rest. Car engines require a power source. Several substances and technologies have been used to power cars but only few have been effective. Even more will be discovered and attempted over the coming years as we continue to advance in science and technology. This article looks at the most popular and interesting of these.

Present Day

Cars most found today, use fossil fuels, mostly petrol and diesel, to turn their engines. However, they also make use of batteries to store energy which is used to start the engine. The battery is charged as the vehicle runs via a dynamo. The battery stores this energy as chemical energy and when the vehicle is started, the energy from the battery is drawn to start the engine, which then switches over to using its own fuel to continue running. Because of this, if the battery is drained, a car would not start even if it had sufficientfuel. The battery would need to be recharged using a device such as Redarc battery charger.

The future

Electric cars are the most popular and successful of the alternative power systems for vehicles so far. Instead of converting fossil fuels to energy, it stores energy in a battery and uses it directly to turn electric motors and drive the car. Electric cars are more environmentally friendly as well as energy efficient. Traditional fossil fuel engines waste a lot of energy as heat and noise, both of which are substantially reduced in electric cars. They are also less polluting as no combustion takes place. Since every other system in the car such as lights and air conditioning use electricity, electric cars are more efficient in the supply as energy is only converted once.

Hydrogen is also another proposed fuel for vehicles. This is far from being commercially viable, but it is promising and would be a welcome development in the automotive industry. Hydrogen powered cars would make a return to combustion engines, but instead of fossil fuels, it would combust Hydrogen. The combustion of Hydrogen gas releases a massive amount of energy and only produces water as a by-product making it environmentally friendly and highly efficient. This would result in more energy per kilogram than fossil fuels and electric cars while refuelling faster. Presently, the issues lie with the extremely high cost and storage.




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