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Science and Policy Science and Policy Presentation Transcript

  • Science & Policy: Energy Efficient Automobiles Liz Strahle April, 2008 LAI 531-SUNY Buffalo
  • Description of the Issue
    • Main factors that should be considered in the production of automobiles:
    • 1. Global Warming
    • 2. Diminishing Oil Supply
    • 3. Reliance on Foreign Oil
    • 4. Air Quality/Pollution
  • A major part of addressing these factors is looking at the most energy efficient automobiles. Three types of energy efficient automobiles will be addressed in this presentation. These are the electric vehicle, the hybrid vehicle, and the hydrogen vehicle.
  • The Electric Vehicle
    • The electric vehicle does not have an internal combustion system.
    • It has an electric motor for its driving force.
    • Its source of energy comes from electricity.
    • The energy is supplied by chemical energy from a battery.
  • The Electric Vehicle
    • The production of electric vehicles for consumer use began in 1996 for lease only. Several automobile manufacturers produced a model of the electric vehicle.
    • GM EV1
    • Ford Think
    • Nissan Altra EV
    • Honda EV Plus
    • Ford Ranger EV
    • Toyota RAV4 EV
  • The Electric Vehicle
    • The electric vehicle is beneficial to the environment because the release of pollutants from the vehicle to the air is minimal.
    • Electric vehicles are a zero emissions vehicle.
    • Electric vehicles run quietly and smoothly.
    • Because these vehicles run on batteries they only need to be plugged in to be recharged.
    • Source: Orski
  • The Hybrid Vehicle
    • The hybrid vehicle uses at least two sources for the driving force of the vehicle.
    • The sources of energy come from internal combustion engines and electricity.
    • Energy for the hybrid vehicle is supplied by gasoline for the internal combustion system and by chemical energy from a battery.
  • The Hybrid Vehicle
    • The production of hybrid vehicles for consumer use is gaining momentum as the world searches to solve the energy crisis. Automobile manufacturers are producing models of the hybrid vehicle. Some of these are:
    • Toyota Prius
    • Toyota Camry Hybrid
    • Honda Insight
    • Honda Civic Hybrid
    • Advanced Hybrid System 2: Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon & Saturn Vue
    • Ford Escape Hybrid
    • Mercury Mariner Hybrid
  • The Hybrid Vehicle
    • Because the hybrid depends on electricity for power in addition to gasoline, less gasoline is needed to run the vehicle.
    • The hybrid vehicle has lower emissions than a vehicle that uses an internal combustion system only.
    • The hybrid vehicle runs more quietly and more smoothly than a vehicle that uses the internal combustion system for its driving force.
    • An advantage of the hybrid vehicle is that the gasoline-run portion of the vehicle shuts down while the vehicle is idle.
    • Source: Reese
  • The Hydrogen Vehicle
    • The hydrogen vehicle uses hydrogen for its driving force.
    • The hydrogen energy comes from one of two processes.
    • Hydrogen can be burned in engines. This process is called combustion.
    • Hydrogen can react with oxygen, producing electricity and water for power called fuel-cell conversion.
  • The Hydrogen Vehicle
    • The production of hydrogen vehicles for consumer use is still in progress. Several automobile manufacturers are in the process of developing these automobiles. Some of these are:
    • Focus FCV
    • BMW Hydrogen 7
    • GM Hydrogen 3
    • Honda FCX
    • Toyota Highlander FCHV
    • Mazda RX-8
    • Mazda Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid
    • Nissan X-TRAIL FCV
    • Hyundai Tucson FCEV
  • The Hydrogen Vehicle
    • The fuel cells used in the hydrogen vehicle are very energy efficient.
    • Production of hydrogen needed for the hydrogen vehicle, however, from fossil energy resources result in emissions contributing to global warming.
    • Hydrogen vehicles are still safer for the environment than vehicles that run on an internal combustion system only.
    • Hydrogen vehicles may not be available for several decades.
            • Source: Waegel
  • Analysis of Issues Related to the Topic
    • 1. Global Warming
    • 2. Diminishing Oil Supply
    • 3. Reliance on Foreign Oil
    • 4. Quality of Air/Pollution
  • Global Warming
    • Oftentimes the issue of global warming caused by emissions of greenhouse gases is centered on how much a change to protect the environment would cost. While many companies, organizations, and the government have called for policies to reduce global warming, there is still much resistance to take drastic steps needed to make a real change.
  • Global Warming
    • “ We simply find it impossible to imagine the globally warmed future. Again, there are good reasons: throughout history, humans have looked to the past to guide future behavior. From the wisdom of social elders to the courts, we seek precedents. But there is no historical parallel for what is happening. This is the very essence of our denial: while we accept the evidence for climate change intellectually, we reject it emotionally. We find ourselves unable to believe it really, truly exists”(Easton, 149).
  • Diminishing Oil Supply
    • With the exception of the electric vehicle, all automobiles on the road today need oil to function.
    • “ Some forecasters, studying data on how much oil is used each year and how much is still believed to be in the ground, have argued that at some point by 2010, global oil production will peak-if it has not already-and begin to fall. That drop would usher in an uncertain era of shortages, price spikes and economic decline”(Hanrahan, 35).
  • Diminishing Oil Supply
    • “ The situation is about to shift from bad but acceptable to worse because for all practical purposes the world is running out of economically extractable oil. This puts us more than ever at the mercy of the very few nations with significant untapped reserves. Over the long term it’s clear that the only viable solution is to free ourselves from our dependence on oil entirely, by shifting to other forms of energy”(Leeb, 5).
  • Reliance on Foreign Oil
    • The following shows the location and quantity of world proven oil reserves.
    • RANK COUNTRYRESERVES IN MILLION TONNES
    • 1. Saudi Arabia 35,700
    • 2. Iraq 13,400
    • 3. Kuwait 13,300
    • 4. United Arab Emirates 12,700
    • 5. Iran 12,000
    • 6. Venezuela 9,300
    • 7. Former USSR 7,800
    • 8. Mexico 7,100
    • 9. Libya 3,900
    • 10. USA 3,700
    • 11. China 3,300
    • 12. Nigeria 2,800
    • 13. Algeria 1,200
    • 14. Norway 1,100
    • 15. Canada 900
    • 16. India 800
    • 17=Indonesia 700 17=Oman 700 17=Angola 700
    • 20=Malaysia 600 20=United Kingdom 600 Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 1996.
  • Reliance on Foreign Oil
    • With such a high dependency on foreign oil and with oil an essential component for automobiles, a question arises: What steps are being taken to create automobiles that do not need oil to function?
  • Quality of Air/Pollution
    • What are the major pollutants from motor vehicles?
    • Particulate matter
    • Hydrocarbons
    • Nitrogen Oxides
    • Carbon monoxide
    • Sulfur Dioxide
    • Hazardous Air Pollutants
    • Greenhouse gases (i.e. carbon dioxide)
  • Quality of Air/Pollution
    • Driving an automobile is one of the most polluting acts the average person does.
    • Vehicle operation contributes to air pollution in two ways.
    • One way vehicles contribute to air pollution is through emissions directly into the atmosphere.
    • The second way vehicles contribute to air pollution is through chemical reactions between pollutants in the atmosphere.
  • With factors such as global warming, a diminishing oil supply, a reliance on foreign oil, and the quality of air playing roles in shaping energy efficient automobiles, why are we still dependent on oil to operate our motor vehicles?
  • Electric Vehicles
    • Since the introduction of the electric vehicle in 1996, policy has played a large part in the vehicles’ disappearance. The California Air Resources Board initially mandated that in 1998 2% of all vehicles in California be zero-emission vehicles. By 2003, that figure was to be 10%.
  • Electric Vehicles
    • Because the electric vehicles were becoming increasingly popular, the auto manufacturers felt pressure from the oil companies.
    • “ The oil and automobile industry took the State (of California) to court, and won. The requirements were dropped, the electric cars taken off the roads and, supported by the Bush administration, attention shifted to the far-off hope of the hydrogen car”(Smith, 64).
  • Hybrid Vehicles
    • “ ‘ America is addicted to oil,’ said President Bush in his last State of the Union Address, adding that ‘the best way to break this addiction is through technology.’ He announced his Advanced Energy Initiative, which calls for investing more in reliable alternative energy sources that include solar and wind power. The President also intends to increase funding for better batteries for powering hybrid and electric cars, and for additional research into alternative fuels for automobiles”(Reese, 16).
  • Hybrid Vehicles
    • This statement about intentions to increase funding for “better batteries for powering hybrid and electric cars” came long after the effective, zero-emission, non-reliant-on-oil, practical, electric vehicle had been banned with the help of the government. The electric vehicle proved that there was an effective, energy efficient vehicle, yet the hybrid vehicle has come to take its place. The hybrid vehicle still relies on oil, is not as energy efficient, and contributes to pollution more than the electric vehicle.
  • Hydrogen Vehicles
    • Leaving the electric vehicle behind and reverting back to an energy efficient vehicle that still needs oil (the hybrid), hydrogen vehicles appear to be the next project on the horizon.
  • Hydrogen Vehicles
    • “ Government leaders have grown increasingly concerned about our dependence on foreign fossil fuel. Ten thousand fuel cell vehicles running on hydrogen would reduce oil consumption by seven million gallons per year. The Department of Energy has established goals for fuel cell education to facilitate market acceptance and promote fuel cell technologies”(Hudak, 27).
  • Problems with Hybrid and Hydrogen Vehicles
    • As far as energy efficient vehicles are concerned, the electric vehicle was the most promising in terms of global warming, the diminishing oil supply, the reliance on foreign oil, and air quality. The hybrid vehicle still needs oil and the reality of an effective hydrogen vehicle is far off. Is it possible that policy influenced the production of an energy efficient vehicle so that we would still rely on oil as we struggle for decades to effectively create hydrogen vehicles?
  • Suggestions to Address the Issue
    • “American policymakers are too paralyzed to act, terrified that to change U.S. energy patterns would threaten the nation’s economy and geopolitical status”(Roberts, 15).
  • Suggestions to Address the Issue
    • While it may seem that decades have gone by addressing the issue of an energy efficient vehicle, there is much work that needs to be done. Some of the following can help put the most energy efficient vehicles on the road.
    • Demand energy efficient vehicles that do not use oil. Consumer demand is a powerful tool in the environmental economy.
    • Support policies and policymakers who will put their words into action in regards to creating the most energy efficient vehicles.
  • Suggestions to Address the Issue
    • “If we do not aggressively pursue clean technology but continue down a “business as usual” path, we will overtax the earth’s ability to support its growing population”(Pernick, 275).
  • References Dewitt, John. Civic Environmentalism . Washington: CQ Press, 1994. Easton, Thomas A. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Environmental Issues . Dubuque: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2005. Giuffrida, Lacker, Mebane. (2005). The Petroleum Armageddon. The UMAP Journal . Volume 26 (2), p. 163 – 174. Hanrahan, Clare. Global Resources . New York: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Hara, Nobuko. (2004). 370kph Electric Car Is Left Standing. The Times Higher Education Supplement . Volume 1667, p. 11. Hudak, Glenn A. (2005). Fuel Cell Technology and Its Importance to Society. Tech Directions . Volume 65 (1), p. 25-27. Kirsch, David A. (2006). A Battery-Powered Car Run Down. Science . Volume 314 (5798) p. 424.
  • References continued
    • Leeb, Stephan and Donna. The Oil Factor . New York: Warner Business Books, 2004.
    • Miller, Roxanne Greitz. (2006). Inside alternatively powered vehicles: The problems and the
    • possibilities. Science Scope . Volume 29 (4), p. 48-53.
    • Orski, C. Kenneth. (1998). The Great Electric Car Debate. Innovation Briefs . Volume 30, p.
    • 525-535.
    • Pernick, Ron, and Clint Wilder. The Clean Tech Revolution . New York: Collins, 2007.
    • Reese, Susan. “A Drive For Fuel Efficiency.” Techniques . April, 2006. www.acteonline.org .
    • Roberts, Paul. The End of Oil . New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.
    • Smith, Jeremy. (2007). Who Killed the Electric Car. Ecologist . Volume 37 (3), p. 64.
  • References continued
    • Waegel, Alex and Byrne, John. (2006). Hydrogen Highways: Lessons on the Energy
    • Technology-Policy Interface. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society . Volume 26
    • (4), p. 288-298.
    • “ Where Is the Oil?” The Institute of Petroleum. www.energyinst.org.uk/education/natural/3.htm