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Car Features

The New Cool Cars Setting The Standards For A Greener Future

5 Aug , 2014  

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Although cars are the most important invention that affects our lives on a daily basis, they come under scrutiny a lot because of how bad they are for the environment. Car manufacturers have started to invest a lot of time and money in eco friendly measures, and they’ve come a long way in the last 10 years.

As a matter of fact, the focus on eco friendly cars has become one of the most important issues for manufacturers to work on. Fossil fuels are a finite resource, and one day there will simply be none left. There’s no need to worry though, as here are some of the new features that are being seen on a regular basis.

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Electric powered

Although this may seem like one of the most obvious points, it’s amazing just how much of an impact electric cars have made. The majority of towns and cities in the UK have at least one charging point, and even the government have made them an attractive option with a number of incentives.

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It isn’t a well known fact, but around one third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from vehicles. About 60% is from personal car use. The use of an electric vehicle can help to drastically reduce this level, pushing all of our country to use renewable energy sources.

Clever information systems

A massive issue that a lot of people can fall for is refilling their car when it doesn’t need refilling. A lot of car displays are a bit vague when it comes to explaining exactly how much fuel is left in the tank. Thankfully, car manufacturers have begun to address this issue.

Newer cars have on-board information systems that explain exactly how much further they can drive before the driver needs to fill up. Although running on extremely low fuel isn’t that economical, filling up when you only have a half full tank is just a waste.

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Another feature these clever information systems can tell you is how efficiently you’re driving. If you drive a manual it can be easy to drive inefficiently. Putting the clutch down too fast or over revving are both bad for the environment and for the car itself.

When you can see just how inefficiently you’re driving, you’ll find that you’re more motivated to drive better. You can set yourself a target, and the information system will be able to tell you exactly how well you’re doing.

Hydrogen fuelled cars

As we have already stated, fossil fuels wont be around forever, so there has been a lot of time spent searching for a suitable solution. We may have finally found one, with hydrogen looking like the next way we’ll be fuelling the cars of the future.

The use of hydrogen fuel cells offers a number of benefits over both electric and fossil fuel powered cars. For a start, hydrogen is suitable for long range driving, with 400 miles able to be recharged in only a few minutes. The same can’t be said of electric cars, with them taking a good eight hours to be fully charged and ready to go.

Hyundai IX35 Hyrdrogen Fuel Cell

Hydrogen is possibly one of the most environmentally friendly resources we can take advantage of. The fuel cells involved in the process only have one by-product, water.

We’re still a long way off seeing these vehicles implemented on the streets properly. They don’t perform so well in cold conditions, and there’s the high cost of converting current fuel systems to hydrogen refuelling stations, which is estimated to cost in the thousands.

That isn’t to say we won’t see it happen though. Because there’ll be a massive reliance on alternative fuels, a lot of money is being invested in the production of hydrogen engines. It’s just a matter of time.

Solar powered cars

When people think of eco-friendly vehicles, there’s an instant assumption that they’re going to be a strange design that don’t look anything like a normal car. That may have been the fact at first, but now there’s a new breed of eco-friendly cars that look like something you normally drive on a daily basis.

Researchers have teamed up with Ford Motor Company to create a concept car that would mean a driver could run it completely off the grid. You don’t have to hook this car up to a charging point either. Thanks to a solar panel on the roof, it’s possible to drive without ever having to stop.

There’s a special glass concentrator that amplifies the power of the sun. The main result is a full days’ worth of sunlight letting the vehicle drive up to 620 miles. This is a staggering result, and it’s also a better distance than most electric cars.

Of course, vehicles running on solar power isn’t a new invention at all, but there isn’t a current system that allows the sun to beam power directly into the vehicle. We’re sure we don’t have to explain just how useful this will be.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a chance that we’ll be seeing this car on the roads anytime soon. A lot more time and effort needs to be put in to make this a viable piece of technology. What happens if a cloudy day occurs, would you be stranded on the motorway waiting for the clouds to break?

These are the questions that need to be answered, and it’ll be exciting to see what happens in the future.

The future of eco-friendly car technology

It truly is an exciting time to be looking at cars. There’s just so much going on within the industry that the innovation is staggering. These are only a few of the measures some manufacturers are taking, and without a shadow of a doubt there’ll be work going on behind closed doors waiting to take the world by surprise.

Aston Martin Rapid Hydrogen

Places in America have already adopted eco-friendly measures in their vehicles, and in some locations there’s actually pumps where you can fill these vehicles up. It’s clear to see that the future of automotive transport is eco-friendliness.

This blog was written by Jennifer Smith on behalf of LeaseCar, the UK’s favourite car leasing website.

 

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Owner / Editor of Carwitter - French car fiend, hot hatch lover. Follow @car_witter