Here’s why diversity is the best path forward for alternative fuels.
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Today’s infrastructure, with its aging roads, bridges and ports, is arguably the largest hurdle for alternative fuels and the energy sources of tomorrow. Efficiency, technology and scale are also major barriers to the wider adoption of green energy.
So what is the path forward? And how do we take an approach that eases – rather than constrains – our transition away from fossil fuels?
Traditional energy sources won’t disappear tomorrow. The smartest approach is an all-of-the-above approach, one that explores all possible options, Mike Whitlatch, Vice President of Energy and Procurement at UPS, argues.
Whitlatch has worked in the fuel and energy space for more than a decade. He now oversees a wide array of energy sources powering more than 8,000 UPS alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles around the world.
Whitlatch sat down with Longitudes to discuss how companies and consumers can use new types of fuel, as well as the technologies that will make households and businesses of the future more energy-efficient.
On rapidly changing fuel alternatives:
“We always talk about this concept called Moore’s Law, which is the doubling of efficiency in a very short period … the technology that’s involved with finding solutions or actually converting energy from one state to another – that’s what this is really about.”
“How do we convert existing energy – because it’s finite – from one state that’s not really usable or obvious today into a state where we can actually use it.”
On vehicle and fuel development:
“It’s the chicken and egg. Do you develop the new vehicle – let’s say it’s a fuel cell or hydrogen-based or electrification – and do you then adapt the infrastructure around it, or do you look at the existing infrastructure and try to develop a solution, an actual vehicle around that?”
“In the US – the gas, the automobile, the gasoline that you and I use – I think last year it was 9.3 million barrels per day. That’s 390 million gallons per day that you’ve got to figure out. It’s a lot of fuel.”
“For us, the exciting part is that when we look around at the infrastructure that’s available to us, things like electrification become kind of obvious. I mean we use it to power the homes, and we use it to bring lights on around the world, so the infrastructure is there, and it is vast and there’s a lot of connectivity.”
On ways to follow a greener path:
“I think there are things you do in your daily life, and we’ve seen the recycling side and simple things like turning off lights. But at the end of the day, it does start to make an impact.”
“You might not accept 10 miles per gallon any more, and it is more common to see the 30 miles per gallon-plus. We even talk about UPS as an enabler to this – an enabler to benefit.”
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