Technology 4 min read

A Look at the Latest in Clean Tech Cars

The Toyota Mirai |

The Toyota Mirai |

The automobile industry had become synonymous with high energy expenditure and rampant pollution. Now, the manufacture of clean energy vehicles rapidly advances to keep up with growing demand. The future is taking shape now, with traditional manufacturers and independent companies all catering to a smaller environmental impact.

December 2016 was the U.S.’s highest sales for electric vehicles ever.

clean tech cars
2018: Everyone on Earth succumbed to the prolonged exposure of nuclear radiation, but you don’t care! You’ve got 3 free years of fuel! Drive on, baby! | Toyota Mirai |

Right now it is estimated that the total number of vehicles in circulation in the world is more than one billion (1.2b), a number that is expected to almost double over the next two decades, reaching 2 billion. It is also estimated that road transport is responsible for 15.9% of all human-made CO2 emissions.

It is, therefore, inconceivable to think about limiting the human affect on climate change without a substantial reduction in vehicle emissions. Given the expected growth in the number of motor vehicles over the next decade, curbing their emissions may seem impossible. Yet, with a forward thinking approach, this problem is more of a grand opportunity. That’s where clean tech cars appear.

Edgy Labs gives you an update on the state of clean tech cars.Click To Tweet

But this change will not be possible without a massive reduction in burning fossil fuels and a smooth transition into using cleaner energy sources. Some even say we could improve our ability to capture CO2 and lessen the impact of fossil fuels. Either way, emissions have to be controlled.

Hydrogen Cars are For Real

A zero emission vehicle that can take advantage of traditional engines is the hydrogen powered car. Many manufacturers, especially in Japan, are already commercializing their models. The Toyota Mirai is the first hydrogen fuel cell powered car manufactured on a large scale in the world. For $57,000.00 USD, your car comes with 3 years of complimentary fuel, and it can still be jumped just like your old Tercel!

Honda also began selling its hydrogen car, Clarity, to California dealers with leasing option for clients.

Honda Motor Co. and General Motors will open a joint venture to produce plug-and-play fuel cell systems that will be ready for installation in next-gen vehicles. The two carmakers plan to reach commercialization around 2020.

clean tech cars
Haters are going to hate | The Riversimple Rasa |

But not only corporate carmakers are exploring the hydrogen potential to decarbonize motor vehicles. Independent Welsh car company, Riversimple, offers their own models of urban hydrogen cars. The Riversimple Rasa is a champion of energy saving. Its engine is electric, but for even more efficiency, its battery is recharged by a hydrogen fuel cell.

After launching a crowdfunding campaign to gather £1m, Riversimple said they were closing in on their target ( currently at £731,585) before the end date of the campaign March 31.

Classic Clean Tech Cars Keeping up: The Prius Goes Solar!

clean tech cars
Is the Prius the least sexy of these clean tech cars? |

Panasonic is partnering with Toyota to integrate a solar roof onto the Prius Prime (sold in Japan). Thanks to a new plastification process, the solar panel roof developed by Panasonic adapts to the shape of the Prius.

Unfortunately, even in ideal weather conditions, the solar roof can only provide 2.2 miles of battery charge. This is definitely a step in the right direction, but in practice the solar roof is unfeasible.

The Prius and other electric-only vehicles still have many obstacles to overcome. Even if the electric car is clean, the production of the electricity that fuels them is unfortunately not. In most cases: over 40% of electricity generated worldwide is generated from coal.

Shout out to Redditor @VLXS: we believed you.

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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