• Hydrogen cars could be the 'green' cars of the future.
• These power units emit zero toxic gasses with more range than electric cars.
• The Mini Cooper SE Hatch is the cheapest electric car in SA.
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As many of us are already aware, the world is fast adopting a green approach. More and more automakers are implementing green powertrains, ranging from electric mobility to hybridization. Whichever way we look at it, the internal combustion engine's days are possibly numbered.
However, it will be some time before your petrol- or diesel-powered car bites the dust, as automakers are still trying to figure out the best way forward towards this green future. Electric and hybrid vehicles are a lot more prevalent these days, but the technologies needed to produce these cars are still on the expensive side.
Jaguar's I-Pace, for example, retails for R1.7-million. And while the new all-electric Mini Cooper SE Hatch Trim S retails from R642 000, it is the cheapest electric car in SA, mind you.
2020 Mini Cooper SE (Press Club/ BMW SA)
Powering future cars
Price aside, it is not deterring carmakers from exploring alternative ways of powering future cars. Hydrogen technology has been around for a while and is a definite option for automakers to explore. Toyota is one of the leading automakers to experiment with this type of future-fuel, most notably on its Mirai.
Like an electric battery, hydrogen-powered cars are more efficient than your conventional internal combustion engine and offers a quieter ride. Like electric cars, hydrogen vehicles will prod along in near silence, but with the advantage that they offer a more extended range than their electric counterparts.
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And the hydrogen system is easier to maintain, too. But with an eye on the future, hydrogen powertrains produce zero emissions and refuelling takes the same time as a fossil-fueled vehicle. Electric vehicles, on the other hand, can take up to a few hours to recharge.
Whichever way the future plays out, automakers will continuously develop and find new ways to save the planet. But what we can be assured of is that the future is definitely green - albeit without the sound of a rumbling V8.