|The way of the future?|
Early cars used various fuels but those motivated by petroleum products took control. Once fuel stations were set up cost, convenience and abundant reserves meant no other fuel type could compete. The negatives are inefficiency and pollution. The only thing petroleum still offers is convenience, so where next?
Electric is being pushed in some places as a cost effective, abundant alternative. It falls down on convenience and range anxiety. Battery production/disposal is very polluting too, not to mention certain ways electricity is generated such as through coal. It has a place in low mileage commuting.
There are problems with handling ethanol due to it absorbing water. It doesn't start in cold temperatures so has to be blended with petrol in such situations. It takes about a third more fuel volume than petrol to go the same distance too. Therefore I would have to say it scores average with convenience. It is overall quite good on the environment, but harvesting is rather fuel hungry. I cannot see it as any more than a partial solution.
|Nicely stored, but still somewhat bulky|
The U.S. Energy Department obviously believe in this technology as it is pushing the building of fuelling stations as can be seen by clicking here. Another false dawn? Time will tell.
I guess it comes down to the idea that personal mobility - as opposed to public transport - is essential to retain in some form. We like the convenience and freedom of the car, but it has many drawbacks. Fuelling them is just one issue. Petroleum shouldn't be wasted on cars, but the alternatives such as hydrogen need to be promoted.