There’s been a lot of hype lately over the progress in environmentally-friendly driving machines.
Most major automakers have a selection of hybrid vehicles that allow you to cruise on battery power at lower speeds.
Biodiesel vehicles that chug on fuels converted from the oils your French fries were made in,are being tested across the States.
Don’t mind driving a car powered by the same type of fuel which launched the Space Shuttles into orbit? Hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles take our universe’s most common element and turn it into a highly compressed gas that – despite being highly explosive – is used to power some experimental vehicles in the States.
Of course, the king of electric vehicles, Tesla’s Model S, which proved that for the price of a small fortune, you too could own an electric car that doesn’t look like an egg, actually can accommodate four average-sized adults, and handles more like a Porsche, than a Ford Pinto.
However greener the automotive sector gets, nothing will drive us all towards environmentally-friendly transport more, than governments and businesses working together.
Some of the greenest vehicles are coming out first in California, USA. That American state has among the strictest legislation governing vehicle emissions anywhere in the world. California also has some of the worst smog in the USA, which has been a leading factor pushing politicians to enact laws to reduce the pollutants coming out of your tail pipe.
In the States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates vehicle emission standards across the country. However, each State can enact its own laws, so long as they are better than those set by the EPA.
Earlier this year, the EPA considered adopting California’s emission laws as the new national standard across the USA, because they were so far ahead of the game. That’s great news for the greener driver, but it still isn’t enough to create a truly environmentally-friendly way to get around.
We need tougher emissions standards, and more government-funded research into alternative fueled vehicles, to rid us of our dependence on fossil fuels. We also need businesses to step up to the plate, and take an active lead in creating the infrastructure to support these alternative methods of travel.
Although I joked about the explosiveness of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, the biggest hurdle in bringing these highly efficient and clean vehicles to market isn’t safety – it’s practicality.
Where do you go to fill up a hydrogen fuel cell car?
Although there are gas stations on just about every corner, you’ll be hard pressed to find a hydrogen fuel cell filling station. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are more efficient than gas vehicles, and the only emission which they give off, is plain water – which is even clean enough to drink. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles actually are more practical than electric ones, as it takes mere minutes to fill up on hydrogen fuel, than the hours it takes to charge an electric vehicle.
However, the problem remains for both hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and electric ones – where do you go to refuel?
Tesla is building electric vehicle charging stations across Canada, Europe and the States. But Tesla Motors is all but one small company.
Want to really improve things for the greener driver, and turn your daily commutes into environmentally-friendly ones?
Write your politicians.
Politicians don’t just create vehicle emission laws, they set out the limits and rewards through tax incentives for driving cleaner cars.
Politicians also designate land, and issue building and business permits for that land. So they have the ultimate power in whether an unused piece of land becomes a park, a playground, or an alternative fuel pumping station for hydrogen, electric or even biodiesel vehicles.
Write your political leaders, local, municipal and federal. Tell them they are doing a good job – because that’ll get their attention. Then tell them how they can continue to do an even better job, by designating land for alternative refueling stations. Tell them they need to partner with businesses to build those alternative refueling stations, so that automakers take advantage of the new distribution system of these alternative fuels.
Then one day, we may all be driving green vehicles.