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Bmw Goes Green

By: Anthony Fontanelle

The increase in awareness in the global community regarding global warming is already widespread. Different sectors in the community of nations are already taking steps to combat the further destruction of the environment.

One industry making great leaps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere is the automotive world. Different car makers have come up with developmental plans that will see production of vehicles totally independent from fossil fuel use.

Car manufacturers all around the world are also looking for ways to reduce the emission of conventional diesel or gasoline engines. One car manufacturer joining the fray of auto makers going green is the Bavarian Motor Works commonly known as the German based car maker BMW.

Recently, BMW's Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer reported that the company is focusing on the production of a new lineup of fuel efficient engines for their vehicles. Reithofer stated that the star of the lineup will be a Mini that will have a gas mileage rating of 53.4 miles per gallon. He said that the new generation of eco-friendly engines is part of BMW's commitment to address the global warming issue.

"The auto industry is facing a fundamental paradigm shift," says Reithofer. "It cannot be overlooked any longer that the global climate is changing." Indeed, the climate all over the world has changed drastically for the worse, and every part of the global community needs to contribute to stop any further destruction of the environment. Global warming should be stopped in its tracks as effectively as an brake component can effectively stop a car.

Reithofer announced that in order for their cars to be eco-friendly, they need to work on some parts of their vehicles. Some systems that they will be working on are the brake-energy regeneration, light-weight construction, and automatic stop-start functions.

Brake-energy regeneration is an important technology since in this technology, the force generated during braking will not be wasted but instead will be re-used. As for light weight construction, the lighter the vehicle, the less power it needs to be driven. And this then translates to lesser fuel consumption. Automatic stop-start functions are in the stage of development. This technology is aimed to reduce the amount of fuel consumed during idling. This technology is currently being used by hybrid electric vehicles.

Aside from pointing out the different systems that the company will be actively looking into, Reithofer also stated that his company believes that the future of clean fuel technology is hydrogen. Hydrogen which is used as fuel for vehicles reduces the amount of emissions to zero.

While the technology promises a lot in terms of greenhouse gas reduction, there are still many aspects in the use of hydrogen as fuel that needs more research. For one, the construction of fuel cells is costly and the currently used fuel cells are fragile. The auto industry and its partners need to work on a design of a fuel cell that will be sturdy and will cost substantially less.

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