The gas disruption has put more emphasis on alternative forms of energy, with some ideas coming from western North Carolina that could reduce residents’ dependence on gasoline.
How is the country reducing its dependence on gas? We are now focusing more on things like electric vehicles.
The Bora Karayaka at the University of West Carolina specializes in renewable and clean energy.
âElectric power is one of the best forms of energy,â he said.
There are a lot of electric vehicles on the road, but they do require recharging and it can take a long time.
Charging stations can also be very scarce. Karayaka is researching wireless energy transfer.
“If there is some kind of transmission built into the roadway, then we could transfer the electrical energy into the vehicle through some kind of antenna or coil system, even while in motion,” said Karayaka, associate professor of engineering and technology at WCU.
Karayaka said maybe not yet, but with rapid advancements in technology in areas such as lithium batteries, electric cars can become cost effective – and practical.
He said solar and wind are increasingly popular and he’s even studying ocean wave energy.
âConverting wave motion into usable electricity; infrastructure will help us build more of these wave energy harvesting mechanisms, âKarayaka said.
During a webinar on Thursday, May 13, AARP Mountain Region and Mountain True hosted a discussion of other ways to get around that don’t require gas combustion – using bus lines, for example.
âI took the Weaverville Trailblazer and logged in to enter Asheville, and it’s fun,â said Rebecca Chaplin of the AARP Mountain Region.
In collaboration with the Strive not to Drive group, the webinar focused on infrastructure changes and future improvement plans in the Asheville area.
âWe’re also seeing the state of North Carolina on its streets and highways getting more involved in including infrastructure for people to cycle and walk,â said Dan Baechtold, City of Asheville. .
Becoming less dependent on gas will take time – and there’s another important ingredient, Karayaka says.
âEducation is one of the key aspects here,â he said.
Several companies are currently exploring efficient ways to deliver goods by drone.