Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on January 16, 2012
This is the fourth and final part of a Fuel Cell article I wrote in 1997, reviewing alternative energy for automobiles.
The Best of All Technologies
What kind of car will be in your garage ten years from now? That’s a difficult question to answer at this stage. One thing is certain, however: there will be more choices than ever. Many experts believe that hybrids are the solution.
Hybrids are cars that use more than one technology. Right now, the types of hybrids auto manufacturers are dabbling in have both a gasoline engine and a battery-run engine. In the future, they may combine a chemical battery with a power flywheel to offer faster acceleration, better performance on hills, and longer range.
Furia sees a future with flywheel batteries which work in tandem with solar cells.
A fuel cell car wouldn’t work too well without a battery because fuel cells take a while to “warm up.” How about a fuel cell car with a battery and a flywheel? It’s a possibility, according to Eastwood at Trinity Flywheel.
In ten years, you’ll probably go to a car dealer and the first thing he’ll ask is: what kind of engine would you like? In twenty years, as mass production drives down the cost of these alternatives, perhaps the tuk-tuk drivers of Bangkok will be trading in their two-cylinder polluters for an electric cart. They might also be able to hang up their cotton face masks forever.