My perspective on cars has changed a lot since I sold mine almost two years ago. That was a wrench, after having lived in California several decades, where, even in San Francisco, a car was pretty much a necessity. Now I look back (sometimes nostalgically) at the years of car dependency and am happy at no longer having to have one.
But I still have a soft spot for cars. I read the occasional car magazine, and still keep up with new models.
And I read Autoblog, which is an excellent blog on cars-- new cars, new technology, and, inevitably, the greening of automobiles.
Which is why I am saddened by this major post, entitled "AutoblogGreen presents: Top ten most promising green technologies." Sad indeed that they include:
- 10-Hydrogen...an untested technology fraught with dangers (I won't descend to saying "Remember the Hindenburg!). Unlikely to become mainstream in our lifetime. And the problem of distribution is also a major obstacle. Its only advantage is no tailpipe pollution (the end product is water,) but certainly a lot of carbon would be involved in its creation and distribution.
- 9-Compressed Air! A more unlikely candidate is hard to find, even if there are some small vehicles which drive a few hundred yards using the energy stored in a tank of compressed air. Air simply does not have the energy density to be practical (i.e., you need too much of it.) The higher the pressure, the more energy storage, but the stronger and heavier the tank has to be. A no-win situation.
- 8- is Hydraulics---even Autoblog itself says its not feasible---so why list it?
- 7- Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition -Even if Mercedes Benz is developing it, can a new method of changing the ignition in current engines result in enough of an improvement to be labeled a "breakthough?" A misnomer.
- Diesel and Hybrids-- eh? I thought these were widely available and widely used the world over? Why the breathless press for an old technology? Hybrids are not even all that efficient if you include all the energy used in duplication of the drive systems, and are under some criticism for this reason, though, of course, they are much better than non-hybrids. And diesels, while also much better in efficiency than gas engines, are problematic due to higher particulate emissions. Which is why they are not all that popular, say, in California with its stronger emission controls.
- No 1--- a blank page---while I'm sure it was not deliberate, maybe it could've said:
That's the problem with "Lists", especially the ubiquitous Lists of 10 items, you sometimes have to stretch to find candidates. And sometimes you come up with duds. But not usually over half the entries!