Originally published 12 May 2016 on IEEE Engineering360.
Air pollution and vehicles were first associated in the early 1950s by a California researcher who stated that traffic was to blame for the smoggy skies over Los Angeles. This was the start of the transformation coming to the automotive industry.
Over time, emissions from other mobile sources of air pollution, such as heavy-duty trucks, agricultural and construction equipment, locomotives, garden equipment and marine engines, were also being considered. Today, controlling emissions involves technological advances in engine design to higher quality or alternative fuels, and the production of greener cars with the collaboration of local governments and car manufacturers.
A recent report from the European Commission revealed that 12% of the overall EU emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), comes from the fuel consumed by passenger cars. To lower CO2 emissions, car makers are introducing vehicles tailored to a range of specific uses, from short urban commutes to long-distance cargo hauling, with the possibility of being energized by alternative fuels, such as biofuels, electricity, hydrogen, natural gas and propane.
Production of global hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles is expected to reach more than 70,000 vehicles annually by 2027, as more automotive OEMs bring these vehicles to market, says a May 2016 report from IHS Automotive.
“The key market driver for the rise of low emission vehicles around the world is government regulation,” says Devin Lindsay, IHS principal analyst. “This, however, is in response to the need to reduce CO2 emissions in their respective regions.”
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IEEE Engineering360, May 2016.