The fuels and vehicles of The Great Travel Hack
The Great Travel Hack is all about keeping CO2 emissions as low as possible. To do that, the teams will need to make use of lower carbon fuels on their journey across the US. Luckily for them, there are more vehicles than ever powered by cleaner fuels, both on and off roads.
Hydrogen is one of the most abundant elements in the universe. But more than just being abundant, it has properties that means it can power a number of different types of transportation.
Vehicles fitted with hydrogen fuel-cells convert compressed hydrogen from their fuel tanks into electricity that powers the electric motor of a vehicle, providing a similar range to vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. And the best part? Whilst driving, hydrogen-powered vehicles only emit heat and water vapour.
In the US, Shell has a network of 35 refueling stations in California and is set to increase it to 100 in the next two years, making it an increasingly viable fuel for even more types of vehicles – something Team Omega discovered on the first leg of their journey out of the Golden State.
Natural gas burns cleaner than any other fossil fuel, but its gaseous nature means it isn’t exactly practical when it comes to powering vehicles. That’s where compressed natural gas (CNG) comes in.
By squashing its volume down to 1% of its normal atmospheric pressure natural gas becomes a practical, cleaner-burning transportation fuel, as The Great Travel Hack teams found out in some unique retro-fitted vehicles.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) – a freezing cold, liquefied form of natural gas – is also playing an increasingly important role in lower CO2 emissions transport, powering heavy duty trucks, buses and ships around the world.
From everyday cars and speedy roadsters to heavy-duty pickups, super-fast motorbikes, and even high performance electric boats, there is a whole range of electric vehicles (EVs) available for The Great Travel Hack teams to choose from. And with zero tailpipe CO2 emissions when driving, they also proved a great way for the teams to make up serious mileage with lower-carbon power– across all sorts of terrain. They put the durability and versatility of EVs to the test, taking to sand dunes, some extremely rugged ground and even the water in electric-powered vehicles.
Episode 1 vehicles
Hyundai IONIQ - Powered by Electric Battery - (Team Alpha)
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell - Powered by Hydrogen Fuel Cell - (Team Omega)
VW E-Thing - Powered by Electric Battery - (Team Alpha)
Canadian Boat Company's Bruce 22 - Powered by Electric Battery - (Team Omega)
Scorpion FS 26 Plus - Powered by Electric Battery / Human Power - (Team Alpha)
Tern E-Bikes - Powered by Electric Battery / Human Power - (Team Omega)
Westcliff Airport Express (WAX) Bus - Powered by CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) - (Team Alpha)
Las Vegas MONORAIL - Powered by Electrified Rail - (Team Omega)