Driving is something that people do en masse for business and pleasure. If the 20th century gave rise to the automobile, the 21st century has given rise to the low emissions automobile. This is because there are millions of cars on the road and over the years people have begun to realise that cars give off emissions that are bad for the environment. Thus the arrival of the low emissions car.
What Is a Low Emissions Car?
Low emissions, zero emissions or ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV) are any vehicles that emit below 75 grams of CO2 per kilometre through the tailpipe. ULEV cars also employ low-carbon technologies. There are different types of ULEVs. Clean cars NZ equals cleaner air quality, and that’s good for everybody.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles
These vehicles run on hydrogen and produce no tailpipe emissions. In this system, a fuel cell converts hydrogen into electricity, which powers the vehicle. These vehicles can run for more than 300 miles on a tank of hydrogen fuel. Toyota, Hyundai and Honda all make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered by an electric motor, rather than the traditional combustion engine. The EV’s battery can be charged at home and at charging stations. There are hundreds of thousands of charging stations worldwide and hundreds in New Zealand. There are millions of EVs on the road today, made by such companies as Nissan, Chevrolet, Tesla and Toyota.
Hybrid vehicles use both an electric motor and a gasoline or diesel combustion engine to run. They employ regenerative braking, in which the battery’s energy is replenished by the heat produced when braking.
There are different types of hybrid vehicles, such as a plug-in hybrid, series hybrid and parallel hybrid. The plug-in simply plugs into any charging station with the proper equipment. In the series hybrid, the combustion engine produces energy that feeds the electric generator, which then is able to power the motor and the battery. The parallel vehicle system has the capability for the vehicle to be powered by either the electric motor or the combustion engine, or both working together.
What Are the Benefits of Owning a Low Emissions Car?
There are several reasons that transitioning to ULEVs can be beneficial. For one thing, the costs of powering them versus remaining reliant on gasoline or diesel fuel is a no-brainer. There are many ways to produce green energy and the operating systems in ULEVs will continue to improve. The regenerative braking feature in hybrid vehicles shows that the sky’s the limit when it comes to technological advances. Compare that against a consistently depleting fossil fuel situation in which not only natural elements but things like geopolitics can also greatly affect fuel prices.
Another benefit speaks again to the move away from fossil fuels and toward green, renewable energy. By producing less harmful emissions, the earth’s atmosphere is not being harmed as quickly. ULEVs and zero-emissions vehicles produce such little tailpipe exhaust that millions of tons of harmful pollutants will not escape into the atmosphere because they are not being manufactured.
ULEVs are good for the economy, too. By moving away from oil, which has to be imported or transported across distances, fuel for these vehicles can be accessed by locally produced energy. Consider a charging station that is solar or wind-powered. If you could drive for several hundred miles, then plug into such a charging station, your car’s motor would be effectively topped off, for much less cost than traditional fuel.
It stands to reason that more and more ULEVs will be replacing traditional combustion engine cars on the road. By saving on fuel costs while producing less harmful emissions, it’s a win for the driver and for the world.