A Future Without Gasoline

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As green cars evolve, could there be a future without gasoline?

Ironically, one could argue that gasoline is as vital to our society as the air we breathe.  But could we ever function without gasoline? As green cars evolve, could there ever be a future without it?  In this section, we discuss the possibilities of a world without gasoline.

The Power of Petrol

Gasoline, or 'petrol' as it is referred to in other parts of the world, is a very important fuel. Believe it or not, before it was used in car engines, it was sold as a treatment against lice. Today, gasoline is primarily used to fuel our cars, and the science of it is both fascinating and complex. Conventional cars use an internal combustion engine in which gasoline is burned with oxygen in a combustion chamber. This creates high temperatures and pressure that apply force to the moveable parts of the engine, thus generating mechanical energy that propels the vehicle forward. Early in the history of the automobile, gasoline quickly proved to be the ideal fuel for powering cars, except for one big problem — the emission of harmful pollutants.

In a perfect world, car engines would burn gasoline cleanly.  However, when a majority of today's cars burn gas, they produce carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, all of which lead to smog, ozone, poisonous gas and greenhouse gas. Because the emissions that are released into the air are invisible, it's difficult to realize the air pollution they create as we drive. On average, one gallon of gasoline releases about five pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  

America's Dependence on Fossil Fuels

Recent statistics show the United States accounts for more than 40 percent of the world's gasoline consumption. Additionally, Americans own more cars per household and drive longer distances than people in other parts of the world.  This leads to an increased dependence on fossil fuels — non-renewable resources that are being depleted faster than they're replenished due to the millions of years required to produce them. Today, it's hard to imagine the impact the absence of gasoline would have on our daily lives.  As green car technologies emerge, however, it becomes easier to envision a world with cars powered by alternative, more environmentally-friendly fuels...perhaps even a world without gasoline at all.

The Green Car Solution

They say 'necessity is the mother of invention'. When you combine the power of gasoline as a fuel, America's reliance on it, the world's demand of it and its detrimental effects to our natural resources and our environment, you've got the necessity of a solution — in this case, an evolution away from traditional fossil fuels and internal combustion engines towards green cars that use renewable energy sources and advanced technologies that reduce harmful emissions.  The automotive industry has addressed this by way of a variety of green car technologies, including electric vehicles powered by an electric motor and rechargeable batteries, hydrogen vehicles that use hydrogen internal combustion engines and fuel cells, and hybrid cars that use gasoline and electric power in combination.  Automakers continue to expand their offerings with vehicles that use alternative fuels and advanced technologies to reduce emissions and preserve our natural resources.   

Green car technologies have certainly come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.  Nevertheless, as production of environmentally-friendly cars becomes more commonplace and as the price of advanced technologies becomes more affordable, a future without gasoline becomes more and more realistic. 

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