Can Alternative Energies Power the Auto Transport Industry?
You know that alternative energy – solar power, hydrogen power, electric fuel cells, biodiesel – is a big thing. It’s been a big thing for a while, now, truthfully, but change is slow in any industry, and that goes double for auto transportation. Alternative energies, particularly electric cars and hydrogen fuel cells, are looking like they’re the wave of the future. Chevy has introduced their Volt, Nissan has introduced the Leaf, and just about every popular personal vehicle sold by any major automobile manufacturer has a hybrid version, from the Ford Fusion to the Toyota 4Runner. The number of charging stations for electric vehicles is increasing every day, getting into smaller cities as well as major metropolitan areas. Even China, the global leader in oil consumption, is getting on board. So, when we’re asked the question of whether alternative energies can power the auto transport industry, we’re inclined to say yes.
Of course, it’s all a matter of power. Electric and hydrogen cars can only go so fast and for so long; the Model S, by Tesla, can achieve 265 miles on a single charge, but most cars barely top out at a hundred miles. Hydrogen power right now offers a higher range and fuel efficiency, but the infrastructure is slow to develop, and there are concerns about the support of such a vehicle moving forward, especially when electric vehicles are becoming so popular. Electric vehicles are acting sort of as a stopgap; we can’t rely on them outside of normal commuting around town, and road trips are out of the question given how long some vehicles take to charge. Toyota is set to unveil their new hydrogen-powered car next year; this may be a great benchmark for the technology, but it’s also going to act as an experiment, much like the Prius did when it was first introduced. Of course, given Toyota’s track record, their new hydrogen-powered car might just be the thing that finally knocks internal combustion off its pedestal.
Lack of power, availability and infrastructure are three major things that are stopping the adoption of alternative energies in the car shipping industry, but at this point it’s just a matter of time. We may not hear about it much, but do you think there’s not a research firm trying to adapt existing or promising alternative energies to long-haul trucking industries? Auto transport and other types of long-haul, large commercial trucks belch out diesel like they have a stomach flu, polluting the environment and making everyone driving behind them cough and breathe in that black crap. Alternative energies in many logistics industries are needed, and needed badly, but it’s going to take time for implementation to even start, let along overtake current diesel models. However, it’s going to happen; as of now, the momentum is in the hands of electric-powered vehicles and hydrogen, the latter of which is our bet for long-haul industries due to its capabilities. Electric vehicles can increase range with newer technologies, but we doubt it’ll ever be able to produce enough power to haul ten cars around at 60 miles per hour for ten hours a day.