The Potential for Alternative Fuels in Transport

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Alternative fuels began receiving more attention after the oil crisis of 1973. Concerns over energy security and inclement price hikes spurred improved fuel economy, and the development of alternative vehicles and fuels. Environmental concerns were voiced more strongly in the last two decades, leading to governmental intervention, i.e.


The various regions of the globe and transportation applications may present different challenges requiring different alternative fuels, but the need to preserve the environment and its resources is universal. (Pelkmans, p.1-3)
The Associate Director of the Energy Program at Rice University, Amy Myers Jaffe, argues that the situation is more dangerous now than in 1973 or 1979, as the United States is more dependent on the oil from Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries of uncertain geopolitical stability. "Of the Saudi oil, two-thirds goes through one processing plant and two terminals. " (qtd. in EBS, pars. 3-4) The electric vehicles touted after the oil crisis have not yet made it past the significant hurdles of economic and technical factors. Battery technology has not progressed as predicted, and remains the major weakness in electric vehicles. In the last few years, hybrid vehicles have become available, compromising the fuel-efficiency and environmental benefits of electric vehicles without their long-charging times or short range. Last year, over 86,000 hybrid vehicles were sold in the United States. (Barnitt and Eudy, p. ...
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