Wind has been used for thousands and thousands of years to transport goods and people worldwide by boat, but what if we can begin to utilize wind energy in our daily commutes?
The transportation sector produces the most significant amount of greenhouse gases compared to any other sector.
To avoid global warming and the harmful effects that coincide with it, we must implement new innovative ways to cut down on greenhouse emissions.
One of the current ways researchers are looking into is the use of wind energy to fuel cars.
Is wind energy used for transportation?
As stated before, wind has been used for centuries to blow boats across the ocean through the use of sails, so it is correct that wind energy is used for transportation and has been for a long time.
Now, the use of wind energy to power modern cars is also being added to the spectrum of wind-powered technologies.
There are two ways in which the power of wind energy can be harnessed to power vehicles for the future:
- The first way describes cars as having a wind turbine built into the vehicle to power them. This way is not solidified yet, but many teams and researchers are putting in the effort to create road-ready cars for the future.
Many of these cars are shaped more like motorcycles or bicycles because they have three wheels. This all is due to functionality.
These wind-powered cars are not likely to reach incredible speeds without the help of outside sources, so they are not perfected, but they are on their way to being an excellent possibility for the future.
- The second way in which wind power can generate a car is the use of it to create hydrogen that will then fuel the vehicle. The only fuel emissions from these cars are water. These cars are much more reliable in that they do not primarily rely on only wind. It is a hybrid of a sort.
These cars look like any other ordinary car in shape, and they function similarly, too.
Wind energy is the movement of air.
This movement of air is harnessed and used to produce either electricity or power machinery.
Through the powering of machinery and electricity generation by the use of wind power, cars can run.
Cars that run solely on wind power have been created, thus making them a possible addition to our renewable-minded future, but they are not perfected.
Funding, research and innovation are the key to a renewable future for cars.
How important is wind energy for transportation?
According to an article on the Stanford News website, “Wind, water and the sun beat other energy alternatives.”
If this is the case, which it is, then replacing fossil fuels with wind energy to power cars would be a big win for combating global warming.
Wind power creating electricity to power motors is a cheaper and more efficient way to produce movement through transportation.
The possibility that wind energy can be a tipping point to help renewable energy practices gain more traction in the car industry is exciting.
Still, there are issues with the use of wind to power cars as of now.
These issues include:
- Seasonal changes pose a significant problem for the use of wind energy to power cars. If you think about it, wind often blows the most in the winter, whereas it does not blow as much in the spring. Due to these common trends, people with solely wind-powered vehicles would have to change where they drove in less windy months because they would not have as much power supplied to their vehicle by the wind.
Not only that, different states and regions vary in the amount of wind they receive. I have lived in various states with different elevations, and they vary quite a bit in the amount of wind they receive on a daily basis. This would mean that people in less windy states would have a more challenging time getting from place to place by a wind-powered car.
- Wind varies due to weather patterns, thus making these patterns the second issue. Wind does not always blow, making the process of powering a car complicated. There are weather patterns that will easily power a vehicle with the wind, such as a heavy storm. On the other hand, you can have clear days with no wind to be felt. This inconsistency makes the use of wind for powering cars almost impossible by itself.
- Another problem associated with wind-powered vehicles is the inclusion of more electric motors in vehicles. According to Altenergymag, “less than 1% of the vehicles driven on the roads in America are electric.” The magazine then goes on to ask how we expect to be able to implement more wind-powered cars on the road when we cannot even implement electric motor cars.
- The last issue I find to be important is that the estimate for how much energy cars would need to run off of wind is daunting. The logistics behind processing the wind in the most efficient way to power cars are complex and require a lot more research.
Wind power is a future endeavor researchers are working hard to master, especially when using it for transportation purposes.
If the world could swap out their cars that run on fossil fuels and trade them in for cars that run on wind power, the climate crisis would dissipate to a great extent in front of our eyes.
Sadly, cars that run solely on wind power cannot safely drive on the road yet.
That does not mean they will not ever be ready, though!
We must all support researchers looking into alternative ways to fuel cars to prevent global warming.
One of the most likely alternatives that might hit the market sooner rather than later is the hybrid cars that use solar and wind, so keep your eyes peeled!