Written by Alan Parker, an active blogger out of New York City whose writing covers green technology, the environment, and the great outdoors.  You can follow him on Twitter @AGreenParker.

With the rise of fuel prices and the ebb of the oil supply, searching for effective back up sources to power the automobile industry has become essential. Fortunately, green power supporters have put together some incredible achievements that highlight the use and effectiveness of renewable energy. From shattering speed records and spanning continents, these particularly constructed vehicles show that by using alternative energy, it can productively harness and relieve the penchant on oil used for transportation and better the environment by eliminating noxious carbon emissions.

Breaking Speed Records

The growing demand of popular vehicles like the Toyota Prius and the Chevy Volt has helped integrate using electricity to run cars as we go about our everyday lives. Most automobiles are not entirely electric, but are hybrids that depend on an internal combustion engine as their fuel source. Students from Brigham Young University took on the task of designing a vehicle that not only runs solely by electric, but would put to rest the typecast that electric cars all are feeble and slow. Their designed car, Electric Blue, could reach top speeds of 175 miles per hour and when it performed at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, the average top speed reached was 155.8 mph. This feat was high enough to set the world land speed record in its class. Hopefully, with the success of this project, it will help guide production on helping electric automobiles become faster, powerful and more appealing to be driven for residential use.

Cross-Continent by Biofuel

The Bio-inspired Ice Vehicle (BIV), funded by Winston Wong, recently completed the first ever land–based transantarctic expedition run entirely by bio-fuel at the end of 2010. Not only was this expedition created to illustrate the power of alternative energy, but also forged to counter the bitter conditions known to Antarctica, all accomplished while navigating a team of researchers across the entire continent.

Cross-Continent by Wind

To prove their point of using the power of wind as an energy source, a German team navigated the whole Australian continent using a vehicle that solely ran on wind in only 18 days. A mobile wind turbine was set up by the German team nightly where it would recharge the automobile’s battery to ensure it had plenty of power for the next day’s journey. Once the winds were powerful enough, a kite was attached to the vehicle which sent it down the road all while conserving power to the battery. With the success of the 3000+ mile trip under completion, the team had high hopes that the use of wind power would become an efficient way of land vehicle strength in the not too distant future.

Winston Wong’s reasoning behind the BIV’s daunting task to cross Antarctica was  “to do something that people can take notice

[of] and say this is the future, the future of human endeavor” to preserve the planet. It’s clear that all the teams had a similar goal in mind when choosing testing their different alternative energy sources. By putting together all these evolving ideas, the concept of biofuel or hybrid, electric, and maybe even wind powered cars is much more viable.

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