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What’s next: Self powered cars

Self powered car

As we know it

With the help of some modern technologies, auto-manufacturers have been successful in decreasing the total amount of vehicular emission. However, it is only ironic that the number of vehicles is increasing astronomically. One of such new technology is the use of battery-powered electric motors. However, batteries need to be recharged with some form of energy that may not be ‘green’. The use of hydrogen fuel cell-powered engines also face similar limitations. In many countries, use of bio-fuels have been advocated. But, this is only used as an addition to the already used petroleum fuel and not as a replacement. Besides, it has severe impact on the availability of food items as bio-fuels are produced from them.

However, in recent times, some researchers have produced concepts of cars that would be self-sufficient for their energy needs. These cars would be able to produce energy from the environment with the help of some new technologies.

Need for change

The need for change was never so essential than now. Consider this: Powering the modern vehicles with environment-friendly, or ‘green’, sources of energy has become a major challenge for the automobile industry today. The success or failure here could very well make or break the fortunes of this industry in near future. The existing fuel sources and technologies cannot sustain it for long. As the oil reserves of the world are depleting faster than ever and carbon emission from vehicular movement is perhaps at its peak. The vehicular emissions are not only a major contributor to the climate change but also a direct threat to life and health. As they leave many dangerous particles like PM10 suspended in air which we inhale.

What’s Next?

1. Bristol self-powered car

Bristol car concept

What’s new

It is the first of its kind model of a truly ‘organic’ car. With the help of piezoelectricity and photovoltaic technologies, the Bristol self-powered concept car would be capable of producing necessary energy for charging its batteries on its own by harvesting energy from environment. Not only this, it would also redistribute the extra energy so produced for other purposes.

What difference will it make

Designed by Amanpreet Gill, this car is set to take the human-machine relationship to an all new level . So far, cars have only been a source of expenditure and pollution. But this car would change this. Traveling would never be a cause of worry again if this concept car sees the light of the day.

2. Volvo car of the future

Volvo car of the future

What’s new

The Volvo car of the future would be self-powered from the composite materials fitted on its roof, bonnet or doors. The researchers of Volvo and the Imperial College, London, are jointly working for producing this new composite material that can store and discharge electricity in a few seconds time. The prototype consists of carbon fiber and glass fiber for storing and discharging energy.

What difference will it make

As compared to the existing hybrid cars, this Volvo car would be extremely light and self-sufficient for its energy uses. No more queues at the gas stations and no more smoke from the exhaust pipe. This technology could also be used in mobile phones in future and allow the production of paper-thin mobile phones without batteries.

3. Self-powered car having ‘Dot Tires’

Dot tires

What’s new

Designed by Dongil Kim, this self-powered car would use the rotation of its wheels to produce energy. For this purpose, the wheels would be wrapped with dot-like structures, as shown in the image above, that can convert the kinetic energy into electricity as they would hit the road. The body of the car would change color according to speed and battery.

What difference will it make

It would be a boon for speed lovers as more speed wouldn’t amount to more consumption of fuels. Instead, the car would produce more energy when cruising at high speed because the kinetic energy would be more on the wheels. This might start a trend for high-speed cars in future.

4. Solar-N-Wind powered Eclectic vehicle by Venturi

Eclectic vehicle by Venturi

What’s new

The three-seater Eclectic vehicle concept by the Venturi Automobile would be powered by self-produced energy from renewable sources like the sunlight and wind. It would have photovoltaic cells fitted on the roof for production of solar energy and also wind turbines. The energy so produced would be restored in NiMH (NIV-7) liquid-cooled batteries

What difference will it make

This three-seater would certainly be a hit, specially in the developing contries like India where three-seaters are mostly used as auto-rickshaws for public transport. The wind turbines and photovoltaic cells would allow it to produce energy even when in parking.

5. Solar and wind powered Lamborghini Countach EV offers a self-sufficient ride

Lamborghini Countach ev

What’s new?

Lamborghinis are generally famous for its grandeur and exotic designs. Fuel economy was perhaps never a consideration for the users of these super cars. However, a new concept car could break the taboos. Designed by Flavio Adriani, the Lamborghini Countach EV would depend on the on-board wind and solar energy generators for powering its wheels. It will be fitted with photovoltaic modules and two wind turbines placed under the hood of the car.

What difference will it make?

The all-electric Lamborghini Countach EV would change the trends for hybrid cars and supercars. Generally, supercars consumes very large amount of fuels. But this car might initiate a new trend. Also, the aerodynamic design will surely strike a chord among the lovers of Lamborghinis.