For over a century, the transportation industry has depended primarily on petroleum, a high-energy, density liquid hydrocarbon fuel, for its standard fuel source. However, this practice is far from sustainable, even though liquid hydrocarbon fuels continue to be the most desirable energy source for long-distance transportation methods.
Though researchers are yet to implement carbon neutral fuel energy (such as electricity) as a mainstream energy source, the Center for Automotive Research continues its endeavors to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and to ultimately develop more sustainable alternate fuels. In doing so, the center’s engineers partake in the one of the greatest challenges facing the transportation industry today.
To gain a better understanding of where their efforts will be most effectively implemented, CAR researchers focus on policies that may affect adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). By analyzing different models of EVs, seeking data on the average consumer who is invested in alternate fuel vehicles and building relationships with policymakers, CAR seeks to inform policies that will bridge that gap between engineers and policy communities. While navigating social, technical, economic, and political systems, CAR researchers hope to design solutions that account for society’s best interest.