In today’s world, scientists, analysts, and engineers are continually looking to find effective fuel solution not only to minimize cost but also to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Though there is a substantial research that has been in progress, on existing fuel. However, there are massive differences between natural and alternative source of fuel, in terms of environmental benefit and cost.
Ethanol has great potential as it is blended with agricultural products and most of the current vehicles support ethanol. On the contrary, LPG is directly derived from natural gas and it increases sustainability within the environment. However, with the new hybrid technology, electric vehicle more widely expand sustainability to the environment by ensuring ’0′ carbon emission.
In most of the developing countries like, USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, the electric vehicle is becoming popular because of environmental concern and cost of energy. This hybrid technology increases battery storage capacity; as a result it’s getting an optimum solution for transport mode. The lithium composite phosphate (LCP) is a rechargeable battery which uses LiFePO4 as cathode material and mostly used in portable items like cell phone, camera and laptops and this raised a significant attention on transportation applications, including electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), fuel cell vehicles, and electric bikes in Asia. Thus, most of the auto maker companies declare new model of electric vehicle in 2010-2012 as well as establish a new platform for electric vehicle to generate a market.
ALTERNATIVE FUEL FOR VEHICLES
Major fuels for vehicles in Australia are petrol, diesel, natural gas (i.e. LPG) and the consumption rate varies due to the nature of the vehicles, cost and travel.
In Australia, most of the vehicles run by ethanol but yet nobody knows how ethanol can affect their vehicles. A recent figure shows, 30 percent of Australian vehicles will be affected by 10 percent of ethanol. The main agriculture products used to produce ethanol in Australia are wheat, wheat starch, sugarcane and sorghum. However, the main advantage of using ethanol is organic and major disadvantage, it burns quickly. Currently, there are four types of ethanol available, worldwide, such as E10, E85, E22 and E100 where in Australia E10 and E85 are available and others are still in consideration.
E10 in Australia
After 1st of July 2003, 10 percent ethanol mix was allowed with normal petrol and blending higher than 10 percent require engine modification as it was identified that using E20 with 20 percent mix creates problems in unmodified engines.
Problems of E10 (E-10 Ethanol Fuel Problems, n.d)
1. Ethanol 10 damages vehicle engine and carburetor.
2. Water above 5 percent cause serious damage on the vehicle’s performance.
3. Water freezing in winter causes serious effect on performance.
E85 in Australia
E85 is suitable for flex fuel vehicles and currently only Caltex is selling it in around 40 retail stores (Monitoring of the Australian petroleum industry, 2011). Though E85 is very environmentally suitable to reduce CO2 but it is not suitable for all engines as it may damage the fuel system.
Problems of E85
1. It burns quickly compared to other petrol.
2. Decreases a vehicle’s millage per gallon by 15 to 25 percent compared with other gasoline because modern vehicles do not burn it efficiently (Shaffer, 2012).
3. E85 cost less but in terms of performance when comparing prices with regular petrol, the purchase price becomes same as per km.
CURRENT POLICY OF ETHANOL IN NSW
According to NSW government 2 percent mandate policy for ethanol, wholesalers require to make up to the minimum 2 percent of total volume of NSW sales (Graham, Reedman, Poldy, 2008).
POTENTIAL ADVANTAGE AND DISADVANTAGE FOR ETHANOL
The main advantage of the new policy is to purchase new cars which can run by ethanol i.e. E10 and E85. Besides, as the sustainability issue is a major concern in Australia, it is an ideal solution to use ethanol to minimize gas emission from the environment. On the contrary, though ethanol is an environmentally friendly fuel but yet there is inadequate availability of ethanol in different places. The reason behind, as ethanol mainly based on agriculture products and production cost is really high in Australia. Thus, farmers as well as many farms will not encourage producing crops. Besides, there is no government subsidy available yet for such action.
COMPARISON OF COST AND CARBON EMISSION BETWEEN E10 AND E85
Cost of E10
The price of E10 is very sensitive in different petrol stations in Australia because most of the petrol companies in Australia have independent freedom to fix the price in accordance with standard fuel quality Australia. Besides, factors like location, demand and quality also major issue to determine the price.
Carbon emission rate E10
Not much difference to regular petrol, E10 only save 5 percent of gas emissions and the full cycle emission (t CO2-e/kL) is 2.44 compared to 2.56 to regular petrol.
Site Name and Price of E10 ($)
Budget Strathfield 134.7
Caltex/Woolworths Taren Point 135.9
7 Eleven Sans Souci 135.9
Caltex/Woolworths Strathfield 136.9
Caltex/Woolworths Miranda 137.9
Caltex/Woolworths Carnes Hill 137.9
Source: My price search, MotorMouth Pty Ltd, 2012 (Updated, 10/04/2012)
Cost of E85
Currently, only a few places and in few petrol stations are providing E85 fuels, so it is a bit difficult for consumers to switch to E85. Generally, the price ranges in different petrol stations approximately 124 to 135.
Carbon emission rate E85
In comparison to other fuel E85 has a lower rate of emission of greenhouse. Generally, in 15,000 miles per year, 372 grams/mile (approx) CO2 per vehicle can possibly be reduced. On the basis of CO2 emission grams/million Btu only 0.2 percent is different from regular gasoline i.e. 76,289 & 76,477 respectively (Timpe, Aulich, 2005).
LPG IN AUSTRALIA
LPG is the combination of 50 percent propane and 50 percent butane and western Australia has the largest reserve of this natural gas (What is LPG? 2011). LPG powered vehicles produce less CO2 to the environment travelled to 203 gm CO20e/km and according to the RARE consulting; using LPG instead of regular petrol may reduce 13-14 percent carbon dioxide emission from the environment (Wong, 2011). In Australia, due the huge demand of energy requirements, LPG could be an alternative solution for vehicles, industrial or household use in coming years.
CURRENT POLICY OF LPG IN NSW
According to LPG Australia, current policy, “LPG industry will support government to ensure sustainability as well as future energy sources to reduce carbon and ensuring LPG achieve a level of capability to support government’s alternative fuel requirement; LPG market will require transitional support to achieve 10 percent of transport energy requirements”(LPG Australia policy, 2010).
POTENTIAL ADVANTAGE AND DISADVANTAGE FOR LPG
Using LPG in a vehicle not only match with current policy but again assuring to provide alternative solutions for fuel in most affordable price. More precisely speaking, LPG burns clearly in the air and it is 60 percent cheaper than other petrol as well as increasing engine life which provide significant benefit not only in purchasing but also future affordability to purchase vehicles. On the contrary, the potential disadvantage could be converting cost i.e. approximately between AUD 2000-2500 as well as maintenance cost of engine parts is really high. Besides, in terms of performance compared to fuel driven vehicle, is very low and high risk is involved to install LPG cylinder in all vehicles because of size, design and shape.
COST AND CARBON EMISSION COMPARISON OF LPG
Cost of LPG
Australia has vast reserves of LPG, so the supply of LPG is adequate for next 30-50 years. Thus, the price of LPG is lower compared to other fuels. The reason could be varied but people still intended to use petrol to their vehicles instead of using LPG. The annual average price of LPG is 54.5c.
Site name and Price ($)
Caltex Crossroads Truckstop 72.9
BP Kemps Creek 78.9
Caltex/Woolworths St Marys 79.9
Caltex/Woolworths Surry Hills (Redfern) 79.9
Caltex/Woolworths Kingswood 79.9
Caltex/Woolworths Werrington 79.9
Source: My price search, MotorMouth Pty Ltd, 2012 (Updated, 11/04/2012)
Carbon emission rate of LPG
In Australia, theof rate carbon emissions to other types of fuel is relatively higher than LPG. According to the department of sustainability, environment, water, population and communities in Australia, in every litre of petrol used in the vehicle, 2.3 kg CO2 are released into the air (Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, 2008).
CO2 Tailpipe Emissions/Liter of Fuel Consumed
Fuel Type CO2- Emissions
Petrol -2.3 kg
LPG -1.6 kg
Diesel -2.7 kg
Source: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, 2008
Battery EVs is the ultimate way out for zero emission in the environment without any doubt. It is being evident that, battery EVs are twice efficient than normal petrol driven vehicles and mainly because the battery is more effective as it uses renewable energy sources. In 2006 Australia, greenhouse gas emission was 576 million tonnes and of this 89 percent generated from road transport. Thus, using this new hybrid technology can reduce emission in transport sector.
CURRENT POLICY FOR BATTERY EVs IN NSW
Carbon emission Policy: NSW government is currently introducing the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) which provide a limit to the business or industry of polluting air and strong incentive require paying to buy pollution permits (Feeney, 2009) which currently defined as ‘Carbon Tax’. This policy is contradictory and controversial within the government body. Currently, many business holders, industry are protesting against this policy and as a matter of fact, this policy is still under consideration.
POTENTIAL ADVANTAGE AND DISADVANTAGE FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE
Potential advantages of this policy are to eliminate harmful pollution from the environment. Besides, as the oil prices increases due to the demand worldwide, it would be the optimum solution for business growth. On the contrary, insufficient infrastructure, plant, station causes huge impact when travelling to long distance with battery powered electric vehicle. This means, a fully battery powered vehicle can travel up to 160 km and after that if there is no station to recharge the battery then it will be a serious matter of concern. Besides, in terms of cost to purchase electric vehicle, it is beyond common people’s limit.