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Flash Forward

Power Comes In Many Guises

From hybrids to hydrogen: What is the real alternative to fossil fuels?

Power Comes In Many Guises
Magic Run |
Power Comes In Many Guises
outlookindia.com
2017-10-07T10:19:03+05:30

Clean air. It’s the one cause that developmental directives and energy policies draw their bre­ath from. The immediate ­reason why governments are planning to curb the sale of ­petrol and diesel fuelled cars sooner than later. It is the most compelling out of many reasons to switch to a pure electric or hybrid powertrain—other reasons ­include the need for renewable ­energy, the sustainable use of power, long-term cost-effectiveness and a desire to tread the earth ­lightly.  And this clean air requires clean ­energy, which is largely electrical at the ­receiving end, although the original source (such as solar, wind or natural gas) is still an essential ­factor that needs to be taken into ­consideration.

Electricity, then, is a convincing solution on the surface, but there are bigger questions lurking just beneath the skin. In the Indian context, critics have asked, “Where will all the electricity come from?” In the United Kingdom, which is contemplating a complete swi­tch to ­alternative power trains by 2040, ­experts are already worrying “if the national power grid is primed to take the huge overload during peak hours?” Worse still, some critics claim that ­indirect emissions from electric vehicles are similar to those of petrol-electric ­hybrids. Meanwhile, on the ground level, more practical and immediate questions are peddled by car owners: “How easy is it to get my car charged?”  Technology is still evolving; so are the answers.

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