The National Hydrogen Association (NHA) recently concluded that hydrogen-based vehicle technology is an economic and environmentally-friendly long term solution to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels in its report titled, Energy Evolution: An Analysis of Alternative Vehicles and Fuels to 2100. The report discusses the importance of continual research and development of hydrogen technology for a zero-emission future*. The University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team (UWAFT) is dedicated to the realization of such a future by developing a fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
UWAFT also recognizes the importance of educating the public on green technology with the hope that they make informed and educated decision. One particular highlight of our outreach efforts is our participation in 2009 Canadian International Auto Show, which attracted over 250,000 attendees.
Amongst various elite exhibitors, UWAFT showcased the hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Equinox re-engineered for Challenge X. UWAFT members promoted alternative fuels vehicle technology to the general public by effectively describing the fundamental concepts used to power the vehicle and its advantages in years to come. Now that the show is over, we are getting back to the design and modelling of our new vehicle for the current EcoCAR Challenge competition, but one thing remains certain: there is much work to be done and the world has not seen the last of us!
Contributed by Numaira Obaid, Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo.
* NOTE: EcoCAR students are encouraged to explore a variety of solutions including: electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cells. In addition, they will incorporate lightweight materials, improve aerodynamics and utilize alternative fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel and hydrogen.