Alternative propulsion

From ArticleWorld

Alternative propulsion is a term that used in strict connection with power train concepts. It refers to different standards for internal combustion engines that are used in gasoline or diesel-fueled vehicles. The reason behind the constant research of alternative propulsion methods stands in the fact that fossil fuel is not only damaging for the environment but also decreasing in quantities that can be used.


The definition given to “alternative propulsion” differs based on the subject it is used for. Because of this fact it can be defined as including:

  • Alternative fuels that can be used in internal combustion engines.
  • Propulsion systems that do not have a basis in internal combustion. For instance vehicles based on electricity, fuel cells or compressed air.


Alternative propulsion systems are mostly used with the purpose of replacing internal combustion engines in various vehicles. The most common used method of promoting the concept is through several contests held during the year. Examples can be given in Michelin’s Challenge Bibendum or the North American Solar Challenge. Nowadays, the common practice stands in using hybrid vehicles. They use the regular internal combustion engines in combination with an alternative propulsion system. The only problem that appears stands in the fact that the new system that is developed needs to not only equal the currently used ones but surpass them to become popular. They need to:

  • be used in as many fields of activity as possible,
  • meet higher acceleration standards and top speeds reached,
  • make it possible for the alternative propulsion method used to last as long as possible without leaking or degrading as time passes (or at least it must be lower than the current levels),
  • make it easy for refueling,
  • have the lowest impact possible on the environment.