An over dependence on petrol and diesel for cars will be harmful to the environment in the future. The production of CO2 and other toxins, and the amount of energy required from non renewable stores like fossil fuels to create petrol and diesel contribute to their limitations as future power sources for vehicles. Governments around the world are imposing stricter fuel and emission regulations on manufacturers and drivers in a bid to improve the environmental impact of cars.
In this way, there are many different green alternatives to petrol and diesel that will likely become common in the future. While there have been some long term alternatives like ethanol or biofuels that have been through many different forms, contemporary developments in terms of greener fuel sources are primarily defined by electric motors, hydrogen, natural gas, and hybrid vehicles that use petrol and diesel engines with electric power sources.
The electric car could become the most environmentally sustainable model for future cars. Rather than using an oil based engine, an electric car instead charges a plug-in ion battery, which produces electricity for momentum. Electric cars cut CO2 emissions to zero, and rely on variable DC and AC controllers. Examples of these cars include the Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Volt. While electric powered cars are gaining in popularity around the world, the technology still faces obstacles in terms of the cost of refuelling, and the durability of motors. Developing a cost effective infrastructure for electric car charging is similarly causing difficulties for making these cars more accessible.
Often discussed as one of the closest fuel sources to our current use of petrol and diesel, hydrogen power depends on a combustion process with oxygen to create power. The advantages of using hydrogen again comes down to the significant reduction in toxic emissions, as well as the sustainability and mileage that they provide. Toyota, Honda, and BMW have been particularly invested in making hydrogen fuel viable for future cars.
Like hydrogen, natural gas is similar in scope to petrol and oil. Compressed and liquefied petroleum gases are used to power engines, which both provide a cleaner form of propulsion for engines, and a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. So far, natural gas powered cars have been most popular in the Middle East, Pakistan, and the Asia-Pacific region. Opponents of natural gas point to difficulties in transporting the gas cylinders needed for fuelling, as well as its sourcing costs.
Perhaps the most common solution to replacing petrol and diesel engines has been to not remove them entirely, but combine them with an electric motor to create hybrid cars. Vehicles like the Toyota Yaris are able to reduce emissions and improve their mileage by alternating between the two engines when needed, while using stored energy from braking to continue cycling the motor. The similarity of these cars to full petrol or diesel models has helped make hybrids the best part-alternative to fossil fuel vehicles for current drivers.