Sustainable Transportation is Our Future
Reducing our Dependency on Fossil Fuels
There are so many contributing factors to climate change, and each problem area needs to be clearly identified and solutions applied if we are going to succeed in reducing/reversing climate change.
Warm Heart’s focus is on agricultural waste, we have identified the problem, and are implementing a solution. It will take a while to go global, but solid steps have begun.
Another major area we need to address is our dependence on oil and gas for transportation. This is a big chunk of the problem. This month we are exploring the advances in technology that are working towards sustainable sourcing for our transportation needs.
Electric Vehicles – Half Way There
As with any new technology, there are going to be bumps in the road to begin. Fortunately technology keeps improving and moving us towards a future where fueling up your vehicle with non-sustainable gasoline will be for dinosaurs!
Shenzhen Mass transit – The future is here
Shenzhen is a perfect example of how possible it is today to convert from gas/diesel to electric vehicles on a mass scale.
Located in Southern China, Shenzhen has a population of 12 million. Public transportation is serviced by 16,000 electric buses, and 22,000 electric taxis.
One of the bumps of converting to electric is the need to rebuild the infrastructure, The success for Shenzhen’s electric fleet is based on a well thought out and designed transportation system.
Fully Charged did a show on Shenzhen and their incredible achievement of switching to electric. It is an amazing and fascinating story, we encourage you to watch the show. Very inspirational to see what we can accomplish with technology!
There is no shortage of choice when it comes to buying an electric car these days. All major car companies offer at least one electric car, with many more models on the way. Besides the major companies, start-up companies have also joined in the race to electrifying our roadways.
As the market and competition grows, prices will come down. What seemed like an unobtainable luxury available only for the rich will become a possibility for everyone.
As technology continues to improve, and the charging station infrastructure continues to grow, electric cars are paving the way towards a more sustainable future.
Marriage of Electric and Solar
Electric vehicles reduce pollution from our roads.
Currently the energy used to provide the electric charge is still largely fossil fuel generated electricity.
The next step will be to convert all charging stations to electricity produced by a combination of solar, wind and water to maximize the sustainable energy available to us. This technology has already been developed, it just needs to grow and be put to use.
Beam Global took an early lead in developing completely off-grid EV stations. These stations are essentially composed of solar panels and a battery, soaking up the sun in the daytime and storing the energy for use during all hours, including at night.
The advances in solar technology offer an optimistic view that we are working our way towards a cleaner, sustainable form of transportation down the road.
Solar powered cars are already on the market. Aptera’s vehicles (pictured at top of page) are very futuristic looking to be sure, but offer a 250-mile-range model at a comparatively low price of $25,900.
This sample of a solar motorhome was designed by a German RV company called Dethleffs. The motorhome is specifically built for the open road. Solar panels cover the RV from head to toe, so you don’t have to worry about running out of power or searching for the next charging station. In total there are 334 square feet of thin-film solar panels that can deliver 3,000 watts of energy. The RV has a 107-horsepower electric motor that’s built on the company’s Iveco Daily Electric chassis. It can drive just over 100 miles before it’s 228-Ah sodium-nickel-chloride battery has to be recharged. The battery has a lifespan of approximately 1,500 charges or about 250,000 km.
While everyone is not in the market to buy a Yacht, it is encouraging to see the technology advancing to make such dreams a reality. Silent Yachts have taken solar power to a new level. As with the RV’s, these yachts are totally run on solar.
Flying Friendlier Skies
In March of 2021 a 3 hour test flight was conducted with an Airbus A380 powered by Sustainable Aviation Fuel, or SAF — predominantly made of used cooking oil and waste fats — and operating on a single Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine.
The fuel used was made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), which is free of both aromatics and sulfur.
“Increasing the use of SAF remains a key pathway to achieving the industry’s ambition of netzero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Airbus in a statement. The company claims that flying planes on SAF could net between 53% to 71% of the carbon reductions required to meet that goal.
More recently, Airbus announced that the giant plane would be pressed into service to test an experimental hydrogen-powered engine, another innovation aimed at making flying less environmentally harmful.
A Bed of Roses?
Will switching to solar/electric transportation be a bed of roses?
As with a beautiful, fragrant rose, there will be thorns to deal with.
It will take time, a new way of looking at transportation, new infrastructure built, and costs to come down to make sustainable transportation obtainable for everyone.
We need the type of advancement we have seen in computer technology!
We just need to keep investing in the future, and support green technologies to help create a cleaner and brighter world.
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