While air pollution has become one of the biggest and most difficult problems that humans have to deal with, scientists have been trying to find ways of reducing it.
It is a common belief that hybrid vehicles could contribute greatly to the reduction of air pollution and the protection of the environment.
During the last decade, increasing effort has been made all over the world in order to reduce the impact on fuel consumption and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions from passengers cars. In spite of their multiple benefits from both environmental and energetic point of views and although they are largely present in the international market, hybrid vehicles have not gained sufficient appealing for the customers. This is why this technology has not yet been able to produce a significant impact on fuel consumption as well as CO2 emission reduction. At the moment, hybrid solar vehicles are produced only as prototypes and their actual impact into the market is relatively small. However, the scientific community highlights the numerous advantages of hybrid cars.
Researchers have been working on a kind of equipment used in conventional cars, which will impact both fuel consumption and related CO2 emissions.
Let’s not forget that the real, short-term and significant reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions can be achieved by hybrid electric vehicles technology. Another important aspect is the integration of hybrid vehicles with the solar energy through onboard photovoltaic panels. This can contribute greatly to the reduction of both fuel consumption and emissions. In addition, photovoltaic costs are constantly decreasing, energy density, costs and size of batteries are under continuous improvement, because of their important role in both hybrid and electric vehicles. Except for the environmental benefits mentioned above, car hybridization also offers good acceleration performance for the vehicle, reliability of the vehicle as well as the ability to adopt predictive maintenance strategies through data collection.
Here’s more good news: Italian researchers have announced that they have developed a device able to convert a conventional two-wheel car into a four-wheel-drive hybrid. The “HySolarKit”, as it is called, recharges a car battery using kinetic energy and flexible solar panels. The panels can produce up to two kilowatts an hour, which is about 25 percent of the energy that a car needs in order to operate in a typical urban environment. Professor at the Department of Industrial Engineering at Salerno University, Gianfranco Rizzo, explains:
“Photovoltaics is revolutionary. It is the only way we can use primary energy directly on the vehicle, with a short circuit between nature and mobility. ‘HySolarKit’ has been patented by our research group and can be applied to every front-drive car, reducing fuel consumption and emissions”.
Hybrid cars will not only contribute to the reduction of air pollution but they will also have a significant impact from an economical point of view. Scientific research goes on, as hybrid vehicles can be play an important role in the solution of the major problem of air pollution.
By Rena P.