CAR INSURANCE NEWS ROUNDUP: 7 DAYS ENDING 9 OCT 2013:
Time marches on, and technological achievements continue to progress – but how are new technologies being applied to the motoring industry?
Not only that, but why is it that there are so many discrepancies when it comes to things like fuel efficiency and actual mileage? You go ahead and choose a fuel-efficient vehicle that says it gets 40 mpg because you’re trying to save as much cash as you can, but then you can barely break 30 mpg by your calculations – can’t technology fix this problem?
Well firstly the problem is that the way fuel efficiency is tested. It’s done under ridiculously strict laboratory conditions that have no bearing on real life – there are no curves, hills, bad weather, or madmen on the road driving without proper car insurance careering towards you out of control. Of course those figures aren’t accurate!
Luckily there actually is new tech that, if supported by the industry, may bring big changes to the motor industry. No, it’s not anything like the self-driving car – imagine the car insurance rates you would be offered for such a vehicle – but a new method for making hydrogen fuel cells that costs less and takes less time and energy.
Hydrogen-powered vehicles aren’t exactly the wave of the future, as we’ve got the technology to run cars on fuel cells now. The problem is that it’s just too bloody expensive and labour-intensive to mass-produce these vehicles, despite the fact that they’re so much better for the environment – the only exhaust these cars give off is water vapour – but this could change thanks to a Cheshire-based engineering firm that we could all be thanking in a few years for lowered motor car insurance costs as emissions drop to naught.
Hydrogen-powered cars also have some serious fuel efficiency, considering a ‘full tank’ will get you as much as 400 miles from your beginning destination. It only takes a few minutes to recharge a fuel cell – not that we have the infrastructure right now but instead have garages on every corner at the moment – and then you’re on your way once more.
That is at least the theory behind it. I for one would love to toss the petrol pump right in the bin with the other relics of the past and move on to a brighter, less expensive, and more environmentally-conscious future, wouldn’t you?