Green technology is the buzz word of our time and in no area more-so than automobiles. Long gone are the days of 5.0 litre V12 engines, cheap fuel and aggressive battering of the ozone layer. We now realise that to continue motoring in a somewhat similar shape than we did, we have to motor in a greener manner than ever before. So, what are the predictions for motoring for the future?
Guidelines and Rules
Green motoring and environmental issues are at the centre of most governments and regulatory bodies – so, expect continuation of tighter guidelines and higher expectations from automobiles. Currently, opinions are that the end is nigh for small cars with diesel engines thanks to emission standards being brought in by the EU in 2014. These strict guidelines for diesel are only the beginning and most manufacturers will have to reduce CO2 output levels to remarkably low levels to meet standards by 2019, according to directives. Many it seems, plan to continue to use internal combustion in the short-medium term, though perhaps with the use of other technologies too.
Hybrid and Electric
It seems that hybrid and electric vehicles will become increasingly commonplace. Though many manufacturers won’t make the change to electric only, it seems that the mix of electric and petrol will be quite common. This technology is set to fall in price and also become increasingly efficient, meaning battery life may soon not be a concern for those car leasing or driving bought cars over long journeys.
One of the ways to achieve increased efficiency will be through the use of lighter materials that will provide both strength and beauty. These materials will allow for greener and more sustainable motoring. In the near future, expect a move away from the traditional metals of today and towards carbon fibres and high tech metals.
Cars will also become increasingly recyclable and the notion of a scrap yard will be pushed to the past. Though we often only think of automobiles and their environmental impact in motoring terms, the leftovers also cause issues for the world. Cars such as Honda’s Extreme which is completely recyclable and VW’s Nanospyder which can be recycled, assembled and reassembled on a microscopic level are the future.
Of course, we’ll also continue to look for alternative fuels. Currently ethanol and biofuels fly the flag for alternative fuels, though these still pose long term problems. However, there is much research into the hydrogen fuel cell and other long term answers that would allow us to extract energy without causing pollution. Acura’s FX 2020 LeMans holds out the hope that within the end of this decade a hydrogen cell run car will be tested at LeMans. Their belief is so strong that the car, made of recyclable materials, has already been designed, even if the tech hasn’t.
About the author: Cormac Reynolds writes for First Car Leasing a UK contract hire company.