Final Research Paper

Topics: Internal combustion engine, Electric vehicle, Plug-in hybrid Pages: 5 (1708 words) Published: October 24, 2014

America’s fleet of vehicles has been solely reliable on fuel until the past 10 years. Today, vehicle companies are competing against each other for the pride of having the greenest car. Many people in the U.S. are happy with the cars they drive. They go fast, they are big, and nothing seems to be out of place. So why should rental cars use alternative fuels? This is the question being asked to Lotus Rental Cars CFO. By performing thorough research, the consultants will first present a comparison between gas vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles. As we progress through this essay, we will explore all the great alternatives modern technology has to offer, and the benefits of each. Before the decision is made to add alternative-fuel vehicles to the Lotus fleet, it must be determined if AFV’s truly are a feasible option. We must first acquire an understanding of Alternative Fuel Vehicles. As discovered in our research, there are currently a wide variety of alternative-fuel vehicles being used today. Alternative Fuel Vehicles can operate on fuels such as gasoline, diesel, electric power, or a combination of both. Alternative fuels are easier to create, access, better for our environment, and are more of a cost efficient way to go. Currently over a dozen alternative fuels are under development or in production for use in advanced technology vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles. Private sector and Government vehicle fleets are the main users of these vehicles and fuels, but consumers are very interested in using them. Using advanced vehicle and alternative fuels instead of regular vehicles and fuels helps America reduce petroleum and vehicle emissions. Of the many different options for alternative fuel vehicles, there are three that are the most common in the vehicle market today. Hybrid Electric Vehicle’s (HEV’s) or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV’S) use the combination of electricity and internal combustion engines that require the use of fuel. These vehicles either use regenerative braking to charge the battery to power the electric gas saving motor, or are a direct plug-in for power charges. These vehicle’s generally have longer brake life due to the regenerative braking (Energy, 2013). Electronic Vehicle’s (EV’s) use strictly electricity to power the vehicle. With having no gasoline engine at all, there will be no more visit’s to the gas pump and seeing the sticker shock of how much a fill-up cost’s with the ever fluctuating fuel price’s. The maintenance of EV’s is less as they have fewer moving parts, less fluids to change on intervals, brakes wear is less because of the regenerative braking, and the electronic drivetrain requires little to no maintenance (Energy, 2013). The PHEV vehicle types are based in a compact or economy sized class of rental. This specific type is a combination of an electric and gasoline-fueled vehicle that achieves maximum range when both are utilized. This would accommodate popular rental customers that are looking for seating for 5 people and ample cargo space. In addition these types area available from several auto manufactures like, Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, and Honda. This provides flexibility for servicing and maintenance. Bio-Diesel powered vehicles are a third option, however, they still use petroleum based fuel; the fuel economy is rated much higher than other alternative fuel vehicles. Typically diesel fuel costs more per gallon than a gasoline powered vehicle, miles per gallon (mpg) for diesel vehicles have 30-35% more fuel efficiency than gasoline counterparts (Energy, Diesel Vehicles, 2013). To the American consumer we see green as good, but green comes with a price despite its environmental benefits. Today’s hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles cost up to 7,000 dollars more than a fuel operated vehicle. Seeing this, consumers who don’t know the benefits of these types of vehicles could walk away and just buy what they know. What people don’t...
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