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A World Without Fossil Fuels - How Would This Affect Transport?
By Mrudula Utukuri
Our transport will be considerably different without fossil fuels. The most obvious difference will be
how these vehicles are powered. Nearly all vehicles run on fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel.
Although, you could walk and cycle to most places, vehicles will have to be powered differently for
long distance journeys.
Cars and other motor vehicles could use solar energy too. This could be slightly restricted as there
will be no solar energy at night. Solar energy will have to be stored in large solar cells during the day
so that motor vehicles can run at night.
Trains could harness their speed to use wind energy to power their trains. A wind turbine could be
connected to the engine to run trains. Some energy will have to be stored in batteries so that trains
can start moving when there is no wind.
Aeroplanes could possibly use this method but the immense air pressure might damage the wind
turbine and short-circuit the electricity. It might be possible to utilize the energy from biomass
instead to power aeroplanes.
Boats could make use of running water for electricity as hydroelectric energy could power boats.
When the boat is stationary, it could start collecting running water to begin the electrical flow.
Another aspect that will be affected would be the metal used to build these vehicles which will need
to be extracted in a different way. Most metals are extracted using forms of coal for example
through electrolysis. New methods are being developed to enable plants, bacteria and fungi to
extract metals from their ores.
Although a world without fossil fuels will benefit the environment by decreasing greenhouse gases,
fossil fuels are a much more efficient as a steady supply of energy than any of the ones mentioned