Car Technologies Of The Future
Green technology is taking over the automotive industry; whether we're talking about electrics, hybrids, plug-ins or cars that use alternative fuel, finding a more environmentally savvy way to get from one place to another is important to everyone. Fuel efficiency and the impact of automotive emissions have been at issue for a long time; our dependence on foreign oil and rising fuel prices has encouraged politicians, consumers and automakers to push for more green cars. Green technology is producing cars that get more miles to the gallon and cost far less to keep.
The first great push for greener automobiles came when the first hybrid vehicle hit the market. The highest-selling hybrid on Earth is the Toyota Prius, and the hybrid gave rise to the plug-in concept, which in turn sparked enormous interest in the most environmentally-friendly vehicle: the all-electric. The Chevy Volt, the Tesla Roadster and the Nissan Leaf have given consumers more of a reason to get excited about owning a green vehicle. The all-electric technology is still in its infancy, but there are already numerous companies striving to meet demand for the vehicles and the equipment needed to power them. Right now, the biggest roadblock to the adoption of an all-electric vehicle is "range anxiety", which describes the consumer's reluctance to own an electric car with a limited range.
Some companies haven't changed their vehicles' primary fuel source; rather, they have experimented with a different kind of transmission. Called the CVT, or continuously variable transmission, it has a variable gear ratio instead of a constant one. In this arrangement, the gears always operate at peak efficiency, no matter the driving scenario. Because the power train always runs efficiently, these cars get better fuel economy (up to 8% improvement) and they also offer reduced carbon dioxide emissions (up to 10% lower).