The Open Source Car - Unconventional Wisdom and Sustainability
Most people believe that the future will be powered by hydrogen, but that affordable fuel-cell vehicles are decades away. Hugo Spowers's engineering degree and MBA were sufficient to convince him that the barriers were neither technical nor financial but human. He formed a consortium with BOC, Morgan Cars, QinetiQ and Cranfield and Oxford universities, with funding from the DTI, to design a fuel-cell car with a difference. Spowers' company is called OSCar and the project is called LIFECar - LIghtweight Fuel Efficient Car.
Last week, he and I began a discussion by considering transport on land, air and sea. Aviation is the most problematic: carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides are more damaging at altitude, the fuel is tax-free and consumption is very high. Yet road transport still accounts for 25 per cent of our fossil fuel use.
Where do we start?