Anyone concerned with climate change, pollution, and the difficult political issues associated with the use of non-renewable fossil fuels will be relieved that new green transportation technologies are being developed. We are sure to see more of them, as well as more exciting new developments, within the next decade.
The Turanor, the largest solar-powered boat ever built, developed by Planet Solar, and has successfully circled the entire globe using just the energy of the sun. Manufactured in just 14 months using a lightweight carbon, it relies on blocks of lithium-ion batteries powered by solar panels. While the sun isn’t new, improved solar technology is now able to harness its power more effectively than ever before.
The Kestral is a car made entirely of hemp. One of its contributions to the environment is that it reduces the need for destructive mining operations, since it doesn’t utilize metal. It can also contribute to driver safety and reduce traffic fatalities, since although hemp is lighter than fiberglass, unbelievably, it’s also 10 times stronger than steel.
Hydrogen on Demand
Hydrogen-powered vehicles use a chemical reaction to produce hydrogen from water. Some chemicals that are commonly used in combination with water to produce this reaction are aluminum, sodium borohydride and magnesium. Cost effectiveness was an issue the previously prevented mass production of hydrogen powered vehicles. However, Toyota is about to release its first hydrogen powered car, the Mirai FCV, for sale to the public.
Yes, body heat, in combination with solar energy, will power the cabin of a plane being developed by Airbus. The seats will collect the energy from your body heat, combine it with solar power and create energy to power your in-flight entertainment. Not only that, but the cabin will be constructed of recyclable plant fibers that can be grown in custom shapes. The technology is still classified, but the company claims that the benefits will include reduced waste, fuel consumption, noise and emissions.
Personal rapid transit systems using maglev, or magnetic levitation technology, are being developed to address traffic congestion issues in major cities. One such system already working in the U.S. is in West Virginia. In this technology, magnets are used to lift and propel, which reduces friction and increases speed. Shanghai’s maglev train, the Transrapid, is one of the fastest trains in operation in the world, with a top speed of 311 miles per hour.
As you can see, the future is bright for eco-friendly transportation. As new discoveries in the realm of renewable and alternative energy continue, more options for green transportation will be available in our future. Keep an eye out for exciting new developments in the transportation industry within the next decade—this industry is definitely going green, and it doesn’t look like they will be turning back. The information for this article was provided by professionals who offer an online master’s in civil engineering for those who are interested in transportation.
Dixie Somers, based in Arizona, is the author of this article.
You can read articles written by Dixie Somers here.
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