Why is the world not yet ready to use alternative fuel vehicles?

Elsevier, Heliyon, Volume 7, July 2021
Ghadikolaei M.A., Wong P.K., Cheung C.S., Zhao J., Ning Z., Yung K.-F. et al.

Despite the improvement in technologies for the production of alternative fuels (AFs), and the needs for using more AFs for motor vehicles for the reductions in air pollution and greenhouse gases, the number of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) in the global transportation sector has not been increasing significantly (there are even small drops for adapting some AFs through the projections) in recent years and even in the near future with projections to 2050. And gasoline and diesel fuels will remain as the main energy sources for motor vehicles. After reviewing the latest advantages and disadvantages of AFVs, including flexible-fuel, gas, electric, hybrid electric, and fuel cell electric vehicles, it is found that the higher price of AFVs, compared to that of gasoline and diesel vehicles, might be one of the main barriers for their wider adoption. But on the other hand, there is the “chicken and egg” problem. Because people mostly do not select AFVs due to their higher price and sometimes their less infrastructure availability compared to those of gasoline and diesel vehicles, however, governments and AFVs manufacturers claim that the insignificant demand volume and less interest by people to purchase them, is one of the main reasons for a higher price and less infrastructure availability of AFVs. So, what should we do for adopting AFVs? This review shows that there are two very important and fundamental points that might cause a rise in the demand and usage of AFVs, rather than waiting for the reduction in AFVs prices. Those points are car salespeople's and people's knowledge about AFVs and the environmental issues, and their encouragement to accept and use AFVs. Although the AFVs are available on the market for many years, many people around the world have no/less/old/wrong knowledge about the current AFVs. Thus, most of these people reject these vehicles for usage, even when their important parameters such as purchase price, operating cost, driving range, and fuel availability be the same (or close) as those of gasoline or diesel vehicles. Detailed information, examples, and recommendations to the increases in people's knowledge and encouragement are presented in this review.