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Going Green is still a Work in Progress

The future of motoring hangs in the balance in the coming years, because the dwindling oil reserves have increased the need to find alternative energy sources. All the major car manufacturers are ploughing vast sums of money and huge amounts of resources into researching and developing new technologies that will allow us to keep driving well into the next few decades.

One of the main thrusts of their endeavours is the development of electric engines, and it cannot be denied that there has been some impressive work in this field. However, even the newest vehicles on the market are still only able to run for a limited distance on purely electrical power. And when they need to be charged up it still takes a relatively long time before they are restored to their optimum performance levels.

Not a completely practical automotive option just yet

Most cars seem able to run for around 100 miles before needing a charge, and getting the battery back to full working order can often take around ten hours. At the moment, a fully electric car may be suitable for drivers who need to go to work in the morning and to return again in the evening. In between times, they can then recharge the power pack, assuming they can find a suitable place to do it and have the proper care products to make this happen.

While this represents an amazing leap in technology, itís also fraught with potential issues. If the driver needed to go home part of the way through the day, for example, it may not be possible at all. And if the traffic was particularly bad on the way in, it may be too much of a strain on the electricity supply. The day will come when an all-electric car will be able to run for 500 miles on a single one hour charge, but until then we have to rely on alternative arrangements for car care.

The best solution at the moment seems to be the hybrid option. Many of these vehicles will start a journey on electrical power, and when it runs down a petrol or diesel supply kicks in. The result for the driver is a cost-effective and practical method of getting from A to B, and of course this is also far better for the environment. Using a hybrid engine means less of a strain on our fossil fuel resources, but of course it still means we have to use up some of the dwindling oil supply. But until the development of practical all-electric cars we may have to wait a little while longer. In the end, the wait will be well worth it.

David Rice is based in the UK and keeps a close eye on environmental matters. He works for a company that provides the best car rental Croatia can offer.

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