Title: The passenger car and the greenhouse effect

Authors: C.A. Amann

Addresses: General Motors Research Laboratories, USA

Abstract: Concern is mounting over the possibility of global warming from the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide (CO2) from the combustion of fossil fuel is a major greenhouse gas, and automobile exhaust is one of its contributors. The only way to decrease CO2 emissions from a car consuming carbonaceous fuel is to decrease its fuel consumption. The best alternative fossil fuels offer a CO2 reduction of about 20%. Without introducing any new greenhouse-gas controls, it is projected that the total greenhouse-gas contribution of the average car will be halved from recent levels just through fleet turnover and already planned elimination of the current air-conditioning refrigerant. If global warming develops into a serious problem, cars can be operated without fossil fuel. Leading options include battery-electric cars using nuclear power and engine-propelled cars burning biomass-derived alcohol or hydrogen extracted from water with solar cells or nuclear power.

Keywords: batteries; electric vehicles; biomass fuels; CFCs; CO2; carbon dioxide; vehicle emissions; environmental impact; fossil fuels; fuel consumption; fuel economy; global warming; greenhouse effect; hydrogen; methane; methanol; N2O; nitrous oxide; non-fossil fuels; ozone; sea levels; greenhouse gases; GHG emissions; nuclear power; nuclear energy; solar cells.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.1992.061729

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 1992 Vol.13 No.4, pp.305 - 334

Published online: 27 May 2014 *

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