Alternative Fuel Source Paper
BIO1110 – Principles of Environmental Science
Reducing toxins released into the air and contributing to climate change while depending upon foreign countries to supply our petroleum needs, auto manufacturers are being pressured to develop and sell affordable alternate fuel vehicles. Gas prices continue to rise and for many Americans in rural areas with no access to mass transit, there are no real options. With unemployment still high, companies freezing bonuses and pay raises for those lucky enough to be employeday, high gas prices are making it even tougher on families. However, the current alternate fuel vehicles are not a real option for most Americans either. There are either no optional fueling stations near them or the cost of the vehicles is prohibitive for people just getting by. The US Department of Energy recognizes three choices that include: Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Electricity and Biodiesel.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is natural gas under high pressure. CNG burns clean and is widely available and currently used throughout many countries in their homes or businesses. Vehicles would be required to be specially designed to run on CNG, however, CNG produces far less harmful emissions than gas or diesel, one gallon of gas creates 9 pounds of carbon dioxide in the environment. The Chevrolet Silverado HD and GM’s Sierra 2500HD trucks will both offer the option of gas or CNG in 2013. Ford offers a converter kit for approximately $300 for their Super Duty pickup trucks which enables them to use compressed natural gas instead of gasoline. The only car currently available that runs on natural gas and is manufactured in the US is the Honda Civic GX, although Chrysler and GM offer bi-fuel vehicles that run on gas or CNG. After-market companies are popping up that convert current vehicles, however the cost is too high for middle-income families in most cases. Greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by...