Sustainable Living: 3M FuturewiseTown PlanIntroductionGo BackGo Next3M

The future car

Different fuels

  • Petrol-electric hybrid cars, which have rechargeable batteries onboard that charge up with the kinetic motion of the car, capture energy lost in braking and can be charged from the mains electricity. These batteries can be used to part-power the car.
  • Hydrogen cars, which use compressed hydrogen gas as a fuel and burn in oxygen creating only water as a by-product (the manufacture of hydrogen though is energy intensive and hydrogen is a very explosive gas so people are worried about the dangers of transporting it).
  • Fuel cells, which extract hydrogen from water or another fuel source and burn it to power a vehicle. The extraction of hydrogen requires a large amount of energy.
  • Biofuels are fuels extracted from crops rather than oil. Biofuels are not a new thing and in 1908 Ford manufactured a car that could run on ethanol or petrol. Many cars can be adapted to run on biofuels, but there are concerns that growing lots of crops for fuel will lead to food shortages.

 New materials and design

 High-tech modifications