How Are Auto Manufacturers Trying to Reduce Emissions and Fuel Consumption
Most car people including myself would agree that the 30s and 40s were some of the best years in car design. Cars were curvy and beautiful to aid in areodynamic properties, for example this Chrysler airflow.
It was curvy to increase aerodynamics and to reduce drag but during the 50s and 60s streamliners like the Airflow did not sell very well.
During the time Petrol prices in the U.S were on a steady dicline and there was no need for aerodynamic cars so by the 60s and 70s cars had went from a curvy shape to a more boxy shape for, example this Cadillac El Dorado.
At this time in the U.S Petrol prices were at around 31 cents per gallon, but the story was much more different in Europe. Petrol was expensive. In France Petrol cost 73.1 cents per gallon. So in Europe the cars were more curvy to reduce drag and help to get better fuel ecconomy. Like this mercedes SL
In Geremany a designer pushed for a curvy design for the average driver with the 1982 Ford Serria. It did not sell very well and critics laughed at it. It earned the nickname the jelly mould as it was very curvy. But after the start of the Gulf War petrol prices in the U.S started to increase and the need for a fuel efficient car was presented. One of the European designers for Ford, Jack Tilneck, took over the U.S design team in 1980. He introduced wind tunnel testing in the U.S. First he did the test with the 1983 Ford Thunderbird. But a few years later the Ford Taurus rolled onto the scene. It was a mass market curvy car which people liked.
The introduction of the new Taurus saved Ford and other companies began to make curvy cars. Also by this time there were certain emissions regulations which manufacturers had to address this. In the 70s the average fuel efficiency was only 20 mpg but began to increase to 28 after curvy cars were brought onto the scene. According to one ford designer booting the aerodynamic efficeincy was much cheaper the doing engine work that would help the ecconomy. Also due to the fact that car engines use thermal energy created by burning fuel to create kinetic energy to move the pistons in order to make the vehicle move. But there is a limit to proportion of heat energy which can be transfered into kinetic energy. This is why the cars went from boxy to curvy.
But now manufacturers are facing bigger issues. 90% of all the pollution in the world is caused by vehicles and 75% of all carbon monoxide is caused by vehicles so manufactureres and under pressure to create less emissions. Also the and of petrol and diesel in the world is running out so manufacturers must now begin to think of renewable energy sources to power their vehilces.
The first vehicle to try to be better for the environment was the Toyota Prius. It was a start to use new methods of saving fuel but in the long term it cost more environmental damage than a land rover discovery. Other manufacturers have also made atempts to use different fuel sorces for example tesla. The first company in the world to mass produce electric cars and the first company to come up with and electric sports car
and mercedes were the first to come up with an electric supercar.
Not only elctricity but BWM, Ferrari, Mclaren, and Porsche have all developed hybrid supercars.
These are supercars which have both a petrol engine and an electric motor in them making them incredibly powerful yet fuel efficient. but it all started with the fisker Karma.
This worked in the same way that the three supercars worked. An electric motor which is always running, a small petrol engine which generates electricity and also works when the vehicle is in sports mode and generates more power. The drawback to these vehicles is that they are very expensive. The supercars will cost around $1 million and the fisker when it was brand new was almost $100 thousand. But in 2008 honda came out with a car running on hydrogen. It was called the FCX Clarity and it only produced water. It was not very popular and due to the lack of hydrogen filling stations it was discontinued. Nut noe Toyota are bringing hydrogen pwer back with the new Mirai.
But at nearly $60 thousand it will not be cheap and hydrogen filling stations will be hard to come by. Also there is a new generation of electric supercars out proving that electricity is a potiential replacement for petrol.
But research has shown that what you drive does not matter instead its how you drive it. A BMW m3 once got more mpg than a toyota prius just by driving slowly.
So change your driving style