Sustainable

Smart Technology is Boosting Fuel Sustainability

There is a clear appetite in the American car market, from both consumers and manufacturers, for sustainable vehicles. This is reflected in the market usage of fuel; according to Reuters, the EPA reported a national average MPG of 24.7 for new vehicles. This is particularly impressive given the huge fleet of haulage trucks introduced every year in the USA.

With public interest comes innovation, and the country has already seen innovative sustainable fuel measures, including the use of beer as fuel. The actual gas going into the car isn’t the only consideration when making the process sustainable, however. Looking at the entire supply chain presents numerous smart solutions to improve sustainability at every step.

Paying at the pump

Americans still consume a lot of gas. According to stock advisers Fool, the sum of that is 384 million gallons – daily. That’s a lot of cars left waiting in the lot of gas stations, and there is a significant environmental impact derived from that. A study conducted by the Canadian government found that gas vehicles over the border idle for 75 minutes a day; over the year, that comes to 5 million kg of greenhouse gasses. Tackling idling is often taken through traffic; but what about gas stations? Archaic laws demanding that attendants pull the pump and outdated payment systems increase the idling. Recently, new payment systems are aiding this. One type are incentive based systems, which provide fuel rebates and simultaneously aid the delivery of fuel.

Also gaining traction is the contactless payments sphere. While growing slowly in the US, the ability to prepay or insta-pay for fuel at the pump will be invaluable. In at least one state, automatic pumps allow the driver to prepay and scan, delivering exactly the amount of fuel ordered and aiding a swift onward journey.

Delivering new sustainable fuel

Reducing the total intake of fuel by promoting EVs and changing the lot stall time is important. However, as Green Car Reports have pointed out, 78% of all American vehicles are gas-powered. They will not be going away soon.

Finding new fuels is the most important way to tackle the problem, therefore delivering needed gasoline in a more environmentally friendly format. One fantastic method being reported on by The Week is gas from thin air. This combines carbon dioxide in the air with a liquefaction process to turn the previously polluting gas into something more useful.

Shifting the market

There are so many combustion engines in the USA that it would be folly to try and replace them today. However, peak oil has already been reached, and the ugly prospect of having no fossil fuels at all is a possibility. To this end, agencies – including the EPA – are trying to make the gentle nudge towards sustainable fuels. This sort of ‘soft power’ is being regularly deployed as a PR measure; for instance, in January the EPA published the presence of 39 hydrogen fuel pumps in the USA, placing the issue in the public consciousness.

Moving forward from fossil fuels won’t be possible in the short term. Finding ways for cars to make better use of their fuel, both at the source and the pump, is key. In the future, placing sustainable technology at the forefront of policy and business will help the public to become sustainable-first.