In our current car driving and gas guzzling society, it might scare the ordinary American that the United States has the highest CO2 emissions rate per capita, at 17.56 metric tons. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 32% of our carbon emissions is caused by transportation. Something needs to be fixed there. If we could slice that number in half, and maybe one day bring it very close to zero, our own planet earth would be much healthier. But how would we do that? It almost seems impossible because cars are a major part of American society. We can’t just convert to extreme public transportation like Europe because, like it or not, America is much more rural and suburbanized, as our whole country’s population density is much lower. So if we can’t run on trains and buses, we need to keep cars.
But how can we make cars run on clean energy? Electric cars have been tried and tested; however, they continue to be inadequate and not easily usable. Issues with electric cars include battery shortage technology that needs improvement, negative reactions to exposure to water, and not being able to run for long enough. You can’t put America’s transportation on those shaky odds. At this point, although the question of if we can have clean energy cars almost seems impossible, it is certainly possible indeed! The answer is simple: Hydrogen Cars.
Hydrogen cars run on hydrogen fuel and their byproduct is water. That’s right, literal water drizzles out of the exhaust pipe of the car, so you can say goodbye to transportation pollution from sources like petroleum. The way the car works is that it takes liquid hydrogen fuel (pumped into the car like gas is today) and sucks in oxygen at the same time. It then combines the hydrogen and the oxygen together and takes the energy from that reaction to power the car. The only byproduct created from this process is water and it is exported out of the car.
Two companies have already made a jump start on the product: Toyota and Hyundai. The car is starting to be available in California, and sales tax cuts made to lower its price have provided incentives for people to buy it. The car has sold very well in California, and reviews say that the car drives very well. So the thought is that if it works in California, it must certainly be able to work in the whole United States. All the US needs to do is incentivise auto companies to build the cars, gas companies to build hydrogen fueling stations, and the American public to buy them. Once that is done, the United States will have solved 32% of it carbon emissions problem. Instead of being one of the largest polluters, we will be leaders for fighting against climate change, the earth will be cleaner, and lastly (and certainly not least) with hydrogen cars, Americans will be riding around looking awfully good.