Transport Systems

Published on
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2021

23492244

4/11/2021

Transport Systems

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Abstract

Due to the alarming climate change and high CO2 emissions, we are required to transition to better kinds of transportation systems. This paper is a review of some of the existing literature and research publications that propose alternative fuel technologies and how to implement the said technologies.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1

2.1 The Current Road Transport Sector ……………………………………………………………………………………… 2 2.2 Alternate vehicle technologies/fuels ………………………………………………………………………………..….. 2

2.2.1 Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles …………………………………………………………….……. 3 2.2.2 Electric Vehicles …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3 2.2.3 Biofuel – Ethanol ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3

3. How useful are alternative fuel technologies ………………………………………………………………………….. 4 3.1 Range ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4

3.2 Power ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5

3.3 Costs …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6

3.4 Compatibility with Current technologies …………………………………………………………………… 7

4. Competitors in the market ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7 5. Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7

6.References ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8

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1. Introduction

The world passenger transport in its current state contributes heavily to carbon dioxide emissions. Engineers and scientists have conveniently developed alternative fuel technologies like battery electric drives and hydrogen fuels cells that should help with energy efficiency in transportation. Several of these new technologies are already commercially available. This paper aims to look at ways to implement these new technologies (according to research recommendations), but we will first analyse the current state of the world’s transport system with the dominance of the internal combustion engines.

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2.1 The Current Road Transport Sector

According to Tsita [Tsita, 2017], Greece is experiencing a reduced energy demand for road transportation. Tsita also expects this reduction to continue as a result of the debt and financial crisis of Greece, especially seeing that almost all of the country’s oil and gas demands are imported. Tsita and Pivachi [18] propose that Greece fuel consumption figures will normalise post the financial crisis. Other ways Greece is able to keep the low fuel consumption figures is through tax penalties to cars with low fuel efficiency, improved road infrastructures, improved networks of public transport, and the technical inspection of vehicles as well as replacing heavy vehicles with lighter ones. One drawback is that Greece has an old fleet of vehicles that range between 10 and 20 years [Tsita, 2017], this means the majority of the vehicles have low consumption efficiency. Unfortunately, the use of biodiesel has not been consistent enough to reach high energy levels. Three other challenges presented by Tsita are, 1) the high dependency on road transport, 2) insufficiency of road infrastructure, and 3) the underestimation of costs pertaining to road infrastructure.

On the other hand, we have differing sentiments about the “current” state of the road transport sector in Canada. “Current” is used in this text to imply the 2000s, and we are assuming there are no significant changes in road transport trends between the years 2008 and 2017 so we can contrast the findings of Tsita’s research to that of Steenhof. [Steenhof, 2008] reports that the Canadian passenger travel has increased by nearly 31% since 1990. In addition to the increase in population, the average Canadian also travels on average longer distances [Steenhof, 2008]. Commuting to work, shopping, and social activities account for 90% of all passenger travelling [Steenhof, 2008]. Naturally, the dominant mode of transport is personal passenger vehicles like compact cars and light trucks. The only notable alternative fuel technologies for Canada were hybrid gas-electric cars and ethanol blends as a fuel type. The market demand for hybrid cars has, however, been curbed because their efficiencies do not outweigh their increased capital cost when compared to the already popular compact cars.

2.2 Alternate vehicle technologies/fuels

The fuel consumption rates of the vehicle fleet are important parameters that influence the fuel consumption and the corresponding emission levels. We are going to review the alternative technologies and fuels proposed in the different pieces of research.

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2.2.1 Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicles

Internal combustion engines are the primary type of engine used in automotive and shipping because they offer economy and excellent drivability. The concern is they contribute majorly to air pollutants like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and other harmful compounds. But recently, the reduction in these emissions has become a focal point in engine development. [Tsita, 2017] proposes that to change the market significantly, we will have to improve the efficiency of vehicles, the fleet renewal, and the introduction of more efficient and less polluting new technologies.

Jeroen Struben however, sings a slightly different tune. In [Struben, 2008] he points that alternate technologies fail due to their high costs and low functionality (as compared to ICE). This limits their market potential. On the other hand, Struben argues, gasoline is so low cost such that its environmental and other negative impacts are not quite reflected. The low tax on gasoline is the reason internal combustion engines dominate, and the success of the ICE suppresses the emergence of other alternatives, hence it continues to dominate.

2.2.2 Alternative Technology - Electric Vehicles

“Electric vehicles have no tailpipe emissions, and when powered by renewable electricity they contribute to reducing CO2 emissions and fossil fuel consumption,” [Tsita, 2017]. According to Tsita however, the electric car market is not yet well-developed and there is no proper infrastructure to serve such a market.

It is interesting to note that in Technological Forecasting & Social Change (2008), Steenhof’ holds a slightly contradictory view. According to [Steinhof, 2008], hybrid gas-electric vehicles are already mass produced , and major vehicle manufacturers have sufficient production capacity in place (or have at least announced so).

Although both authors’ research correspond that electric cars are more energy efficient than vehicles powered by internal combustion, we are intrigued to know how one finds the electric car market to be “immature” and not well-developed, while the other reported - in 2008 - that electric cars are already mass-produced.

2.2.3 Alternative Fuel – Ethanol

Because internal combustion engines vastly dominate the transportation industry, it might be more feasible to find an alternative greener fuel that is compatible with ICEs, than trying to completely replace them with an alternative technology such as electric cars. This is where fuels like ethanol come in. Ethanol has a high octane number that allows for its use as fuel in spark-ignition engines, a type of internal combustion engines, at a higher compression ratio.

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3. How Useful are alternative Fuel Technologies?

Below we compare the usefulness of the different technologies using four performance criteria: range, power, financial cost, and compatibility with current technologies.

3.1 Range

Figure 1 below shows how the range of new electric vehicle models compare to that of the average fuel car (source, https://www.wltpfacts.eu/). The newer models of electric vehicles compete quite well against their fuel counterparts, with the Tesla S performing considerably higher than the average fuel car.

Figure 1. The range of electric cars vs the range of the average fuel car

Range Of New Electric Vehicle Models Kia e.Niro Chevrolet Bolt EV Average fuel car Hyundai Kona EIEtric Tesla Model S Long Range

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3.2 Power and fuel consumption rates

The table below summaries performance parameters between diesel-, petrol- and electricity-fuelled cars from the same manufacturer, (Volkswagen & USEPA, 2016).

Table 1. Characteristics of Electric Cars vs. Petrol and Diesel cars.

Model Fuel Vehicle

weight

(kg)

Battery

weight

(kg)

Max

engine

power

(kW)

Max

torque

(Nm)

Urban

range

(km)

Urban fuel

consumption

Volkswagen e‐

Golf 2016

Electricity 1249 318 100 290 201 16.8 kWh/100

km

Volkswagen Golf

TSI 1, 8 L, 4

cylinder

Gasoline 1344 — 125 270 @

1600

531 9.4 l/100 km

Volkswagen Golf

TDI 2, 0 L, 4

cylinder

Diesel 1397 — 110 320 @

1750

637 7.8 l/100 km

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3.3 Financial Cost

We again compare the electric car to the gas car using a parameter relevant to the majority of customers, monetary cost.

Figure 2. The financial cost of an electric vs fuel car over time (source: https://blog.wallbox.com/wp-

content/uploads/2020/06)

Electric Vehicle VS. Gas Car Cost: Comparing The Cumulative Cost Of Ownership Per Year 2020 Hyundai Kona AWD sooooo $20,000 so 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric (Includes "SCO EV tax credit S incentive) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Source: Voh•clc CO't Calculator from the US Oeportrncnt of https//afdr„cngrq•,'.gov/rsc/

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3.4 Compatibility with current technologies

Lastly, we compare how electric cars and ethanol fuelled cars are compatible with current technologies that are already compatible with the widespread petrol vehicles.

ICE – Petrol and Diesel Electric Cars ICE – Ethanol fuel

The global

transportation

industry has majorly revolved around gas

vehicles.

Subsequently, these will remain highly compatible with

current technology.

The number of

charging stations for

electric cars is

increasing rapidly

worldwide.

Additionally, because most people usually

drive withing the

electric cars’ range, an

overnight charge at home should suffice. Therefore, medium

compatibility.

No existing vehicles are designed to use 100% ethanol as fuel. According to the AFCD, it is primarily blended

with gasoline to

increase its

compatibility to existing engines. Therefore, low compatibility.

4. Competitors in the Market

Notable competitors in the alternative industry include manufacturers like Tesla, Toyota, Kia and Volkswagen.

5. Conclusion

The alternative fuel technologies that were covered in the publications reviewed included electric hybrid cars, ethanol as biofuel, and how they perform in comparison to traditionally petrol-fuelled cars. Although the process of going greener is gradual, the reviewed literature ultimately proposes that we develop infrastructure that can cater to the electric cars and biofuels as they are more energy efficient, and they have already penetrated the market successfully.

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6. References

Geels F.W, 2012, A socio-technical analysis of low-carbon transitions: Introducing the multi-level perspective into transport studies, University of Sussex, UK

Steenhof P.A, McInnis B.C, 2008, A comparison of alternative technologies to de-carbonize Canada's passenger transportation sector, (n.p), Ottawa, Canada. [Available online at www.sciencedirect.com]

Struben J.J.R, Sterman J.D, 1996, Transition challenges for alternative fuel vehicle and transportation systems, (n.p), Delft University of Technology. Tsita K.G, Pilavachi PA, 2017. Decarbonizing the Greek road transport sector using alternative technologies and fuels, University of Western Macedonia, Greece.

Whitmarsh L., Wietschel M., (n.d) SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT VISIONS: WHAT ROLE FOR HYDROGEN AND FUEL CELL VEHICLE TECHNOLOGIES? (n.p), Karlsruhe, Germany