For more than a century we have relied on oil to fuel our cars. The world’s oil supply is getting close to drying up. Because oil is a non-renewable resource, once it is gone there will be no more for hundreds of thousands of years. Our resources will not run dry today, or tomorrow, or even next year. However, the day will come when we run out of fuel for our vehicles. Then what? Why are we waiting for this day to come without looking into green energy sources to power our cars?
Did you know that water can be used to power cars? It’s true. The German BMW auto makers have already produced the world’s first hydrogen powered car. However, they only produced 100 of them. Can you imagine if they build more and these cars were on the road?
This initial model car is called the BMW Hydrogen 7, and uses the body of the 760i model. When you pop the hood on this car you will immediately notice it is different than a gas powered car. Under this hood are a gas and a hydrogen system.
The hydrogen power allows the car to travel 4.7 miles on a gallon of water. In the future these figures will more than double. For now, we still need duel engine cars because we refuse to completely give up our gas powered vehicles.
The greatest challenge in using water as a green energy source is in the engine. Hydrogen combustion engines are still in their infancy. The technology for such engines is less than 10 years old and still growing. Who knows where the future will take us.
In order to prevent evaporation, large 30-gallon, bi-layered and highly insulated tanks have to be installed in the vehicle. There is a danger of the water evaporating into compressed gas without these safety devices. Another safety mechanism is in the valves that open if the pressure in the tank exceeds 5 bars.
Due to the success of the BMW H7, the German company has come out with a new car that they call the H2R. Although water powered, we cannot take our garden hose and fill it up: these vehicles actually use liquid nitrogen as their fuel. Tests on this new car show that it can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles an hour in under 6 seconds. With a top cruising speed of 185.5 mph, this vehicle can achieve 285 hp. This is a remarkable vehicle that shows promise for the future.
The advantage to water over gas or diesel is demonstrated in the lack of harmful gases released into our atmosphere from water powered cars. Water also weighs less than hydrocarbon fuels and burns faster than regular gasoline.
Hopefully, water powered cars will be available to the public within the next 10 to 20 years. When more automakers decide they want to build green energy vehicles then we will see a dramatic change in what we drive today. Until then, we drive what is out there.
Right now, our best green energy option is electric powered cars. Since 1999 more and more people are opting to drive these cleaner running vehicles. Not a bad idea when the cost of gas reaches an all-time high per barrel.
Which leaves us with one final question: If we can harness water to use as a power source for our cars, why can’t we use the power of the sun as a fuel source?
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