Air driven cars
We had earlier written of the flying and sailing cars, one of the greatest innovations happening in the motor industry. Today, we are looking at cars that can drive themselves, a possible venture that could in the near future replace what we have already.
Inasmuch as all these innovations are being done, others elsewhere seek to develop an alternative fuel for the cars. Fuel is a global issue as we tend to spend more than we can produce not forgetting the effects it causes to the environment.
Electricity and hydrogen have been discovered as alternatives to fossil fuels which are in use in all parts of the world. The cars are considered environment friendly and are a solution to global warming resulting from combustion of fuels in vehicles.
The hydrogen-powered cars are gaining a lot of popularity in some countries like the United States of America. They are considered cleaner than the conventional cars and would be the solution to air pollution in the cities. Hydrogen-powered cars rely on a fuel cell that takes oxygen from the air and combines it with hydrogen from a tank to create electricity. The electricity is used to power electric motors which turn the car wheels. As such, hydrogen-powered cars can be seen as electric vehicles that are not held back by the limited range of batteries.
These cars use the hydrogen fuel cell technology which was first developed in 1839. The cells were mostly used for back-up of power and in remote places that are inaccessible to the national grid. They have however been adopted by motor industry and are being used to power vehicles.
A fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat, and water. Fuel cells are often compared to batteries. Both convert the energy produced by a chemical reaction into usable electric power. However, the fuel cell will produce electricity as long as fuel (hydrogen) is supplied, never losing its charge.
Different car makers are optimistic about the technology and are endorsing producing this type of cars. General Motors surprised observers when the company presented a fifth-generation fuel cells. Compared to fourth-generation fuel cells, the weight of the entire unit has been reduced by 100 kilograms, while the unit takes up 50% less space (and is thus comparable to a four-cylinder petrol engine). Similar advances are being made by Daimler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Hyundai, with Ford and Volkswagen following in their tracks.
The cars can only be filled in a hydrogen station. The stations are normally set at the highways. The hydrogen fuel dispensers dispense the fuel by the kilogram.
The fuel cell cars are better preferred than the electric cars which over a long range will need a lot of batteries. The fuel cells spew out nothing more noxious than water making them even friendlier to the environment.