In today’s world, scientists, analysts, and researcher are continuously looking to find effective fuel optimum solution to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Though, there are considerable research going on to mitigate CO2 from existing fuel. Currently, Ethanol has great potential to minimize CO2 from air as it’s blend with agricultural products and most of the existing vehicles support ethanol. On the contrary, LPG is directly derived from natural gas and increases sustainable balance within the environment. However, on recent invention i.e. hybrid technology, known as electric vehicles have more wider benefit to the environment as well as ensuring ‘0’ carbon emission on air.
In most of the developing countries like, USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, electric vehicles are becoming more popular because of environmental concern and cost of energy.
This hybrid technology also increases battery storage capacity as a result this become viable solution for modern transportation. Battery better known as lithium composite phosphate (LCP) is rechargeable which uses LiFePO4 as cathode material and mostly used in portable items like cell phone, camera and laptops. Thus, most of the auto maker companies now a days becoming more environmental conscious and according to demand they now more focus on introducing new model of electric vehicle.
ALTERNATIVE FUEL FOR VEHICLES
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. Though, 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 reduces air pollution but major disadvantage is 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 on consideration.
E10 in Australia
After 1st of July 2003, 10 percent ethanol was allowed to mix with normal petrol and blending higher than 10 percent require engine modification as it was identified that using E20 with 20 percent mix often makes trouble on 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 on 40 retail stores (Monitoring of the Australian petroleum industry, 2011). Though E85 is very environmentally suitable but not suitable for all engines especially, trucks, busses as it damages the fuel system.
Problems of E85
1. Burns quickly compared to other petrol.
2. Decrease vehicle’s millage per gallon up to 15 to 25 percent compare to other gasoline
3. Prices of E85 are more convenient compare to performance and 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 this new policy will be benefitted on new vehicles. However, considering the sustainability issue on environment, ethanol could be future fuel for all vehicles. On the other hand, though ethanol is an environmentally friendly fuel but yet in Australia, availability of ethanol are insufficient in different places. The reason behind is, as ethanol mainly based on agriculture products, farmers are reluctant to produce crops in higher price for fuel besides inadequate government subsidy also a major factor on ethanol price.
COMPARISON OF COST AND CARBON EMISSION BETWEEN E10 AND E85
Cost of E10
The prices of E10 are very sensitive in different petrol stations in Australia. Most of the petrol companies in Australia have freedom to fix the price in accordance with standard fuel quality.
Site Name and Price of E10 ($)
Budget Strathfield $1.34
Caltex/Woolworths Taren Point $1.35
7 Eleven Sans Souci $1.35
Caltex/Woolworths Strathfield $1.36
Caltex/Woolworths Miranda $1.37
Caltex/Woolworths Carnes Hill $1.37
Source: My price search, MotorMouth Pty Ltd, 2012 (Updated, 10/04/2012)
Carbon emission rate E10
Though there are not huge differences on regular petrol; E10 only saves 5 percent of gas emissions and the full cycle emission (t CO2-e/kL) is 2.44 compared to 2.56 to regular petrol.
Cost of E85
Currently, only in few petrol stations are have E85 fuels which is difficult for consumers to switch to E85. Generally, the price ranges in different petrol stations approximately $124 to $135.
Carbon emission rate E85
Compare to other fuels, E85 has lower rate of emission on greenhouse. Generally, on an average 15,000 miles per year, 372 grams/mile (approx) CO2 can be reduced only using E85.
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). Generally, LPG powered vehicles produce less CO2 to the environment i.e. 203 gm CO2 0e/km. According to the RARE consulting; using LPG might reduce 13 to14 percents carbon dioxide from air (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 vehicle not only matches with current policy but also ensure affordable environmental solutions. The main advantage of LPG is, it burns clearly on air and it’s 60 percent cheaper than other petrol. It should be noted, LPG also increases engine life for vehicles. On the contrary, the potential disadvantages are LPG convertastion cost i.e. approximately between AUD 2000 to 2500 as well as maintenance cost of engine. One more drawback is performance compare to fuel driven vehicle, is way too low and high risk involved while installing LPG cylinder in all vehicles.
COST AND CARBON EMISSION COMPARISON OF LPG
Cost of LPG
Australia has vast reserves of LPG for next 30-50 years. This means, price of LPG will be lower due to high availability. The annual average price of LPG is 54.5c.
Site name and Price ($)
Caltex Crossroads Truckstop $0.72
BP Kemps Creek $0.78
Caltex/Woolworths St Marys $0.79
Caltex/Woolworths Surry Hills (Redfern) $0.79
Caltex/Woolworths Kingswood $0.79
Caltex/Woolworths Werrington $0.79
Source: My price search, MotorMouth Pty Ltd, 2012 (Updated, 11/04/2012)
Carbon emission rate of LPG
In Australia, the rate of carbon emissions compare to other types of fuels are 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
The invention of technology Electric Vehicle is the ultimate way for zero carbon emission on environment without any doubt. This has been proven, EVs are twice more efficient than normal petrol driven vehicles. This is mainly because of, the battery inside EV is more productive as it uses renewable energy i.e. solar sources. In 2006, Australia greenhouse gas emission rate was 576 million tones where 89 percent tons was generated only from road transport.
CURRENT POLICY FOR BATTERY EVs IN NSW
Carbon emission Policy: NSW government is currently introducing the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) which restrict air pollution capacity on industry which currently defined as ‘Carbon Tax’. Though, this policy create controversy on media people and business entities. As a result, currently, many companies, industry are protesting against this policy and as a matter of fact, this policy now on under consideration.
POTENTIAL ADVANTAGE AND DISADVANTAGE FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE
The main potential advantage of this policy is to eliminate harmful pollution from the environment and reduce dependency on oil. On the contrary, since electric vehicle in new on market and there is no sufficient infrastructure, plant, station available for people, this will create huge problems for people while travelling long distance. More precisely, fully battery powered vehicle can travel up to 160 km and after that if there is no service station to recharge the battery then this will become a serious matter for travelers. A part form this, price of purchase electric vehicles are higher than normal vehicles such as start from $20,000 which is beyond of thinking for common people.
COST AND CARBON EMISSION OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE
Cost of electric vehicle
To charge the battery of an electric vehicle, costs only 1 to 3c per kilometre depending on location and demand.
Carbon emission rate of electric vehicle
Electric vehicle can produce 27 percent (i.e. 164 g/km) less CO2 than petrol vehicle (Better place, 2011).
This is very clear from above analysis, ethanol, LPG and electric vehicle can provide sufficient benefit to environment but comparing various factors and investigate different current issues; we can say, purchasing LPG or converting into LPG could be ultimate solution on price and environment. The main reason is, LPG has lower emission rate, cheap cost and availability of natural resources in Australia. Though, ethanol and electric vehicle requires government support, which require large amount of investment. In recent news shows, carbon reduction through electric vehicle is a mere ‘fantasy and also stated electric vehicle produce higher emission than petrol because of the energy consumption while manufacturing batteries. On the other hand, switching to EVs requires 16 percent extra electric capacity which is equivalent to 10GW or six nuclear stations (Jha, 2010). Therefore, considering the above facts, purchasing an LPG vehicle will be most beneficial.