Krzysztof Polakowski
Politechnika Warszawska

The article attempts to perform a concise analysis of the impact of toxic emissions from internal combustion engines used in road transport to the rapidly deteriorating physicochemical state of the atmosphere. Apart from the problems associated with air pollution and the environment at the stage of extraction, transport and processing of liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon fossil fuels, the biggest problem associated is with the mass poisoning of the atmosphere by the products coming out from the exhaust pipes of all (land, sea and air) means of transportation. These include first and foremost: oxides of nitrogen, carbon, sulfur and unburned hydrocarbons (and lead compounds, which until recently were widely used in the production of fuels). In many of the published results of the studies it was showed that they threaten the health and even the life of man. It is estimated that in the US in 2013 approximately 53,000 people died due to the negative effects exhaust gas have on the human body. These substances not only pollute the air we breathe, but also contribute to the creation of so-called acid rain, which threaten the flora and fauna all over the Earth. Moreover, they significantly affect the acceleration of the greenhouse effect. The second chapter presents in what way the car transport negatively influences the state of the atmosphere with particular emphasis on fast growing greenhouse effect, caused by the increase of carbon dioxide in the upper atmosphere. The third chapter is the analysis of problems related to the reduction of exhaust emissions from motor vehicles. It shows that it is impossible to limit these emissions, because combustion engines are highly inefficient: carrying the driver with a passenger and light luggage (for a total of about 140 kg) consumes less than 1% of the energy contained in the fuel. This translates into unproductive combustion of large quantities of fuel and consequently the emission of enormous quantities of harmful exhaust emissions. In the fourth chapter an attempt was made to answer the question: as far as protection of atmosphere is concerned, can the electric car be an effective remedy for the hazardous products of combustion? The answer is positive, because electric motors are practically emission-free and in superior to heat engines in that they are three times more effective in converting electrical energy into mechanical one. However, the main problem may consist in the necessity of universal and quite rapid transition to production of electricity from carbon-free renewable energy sources: wind, water, sun. The fifth chapter presents the results obtained by a team of researchers from Stanford University who attempted to create an alternative to the traditional system of electricity generation consisting in the burning fuels in thermal power plants. This alternative is WWS, an emission-free system based on the usage of the energy contained in wind, flowing water, and solar radiation. The presented data show it is possible to achieve global transition to WWs system within the next 30-50 years. In the sixth chapter we review the state of development in the area of electric cars production in the world. Emerging solutions and a lot of interest from potential buyers give positive feelings. If we realize the idea of creating a network of stations for automatic battery exchange (Tesla Motors has presented a solution for such exchange within 90 seconds), at a price of exchange not exceeding prices of refueling an internal combustion engine vehicle, with enough fuel enabling traversing the comparable distance, then the last barrier to widespread implementation of road based transport with electric drive will practically disappear.

Słowa kluczowe
transport samochodowy, ochrona atmosfery, samochód elektryczny

Electric Car and Atmosphere Protection

Key words 
road transport, atmosphere protection, electric car

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