We’re living in an unprecedented time, one that sees technology starting to become more entangled with our everyday lives. This transition into a more modern, futuristic world sees us leaving behind the old one, along with many of the technologies that we once relied on. From landline telephones to physical maps, these once incredible innovations have been completely deprecated in favour of the new, sleek, and sustainable.
But perhaps one of the biggest technologies that we might see start falling away entirely is the engine. It has been with us for over a century, and facilitated the rising of globalisation, allowing mass transit and the merging of societies across the world into one. Is the petrol on its way out, or can we continue to rely on it for the next few decades?
Fossil fuels are increasingly gaining a bad name with each passing year, and it’s an industry that’s beginning to be weighed down by its own mass. While some of the biggest, most powerful corporations in the world are those with direct ties to fossil fuel extraction, production, and refinement, the nature of the ongoing climate crisis means that more and more governments are looking for alternative methods for powering their country’s transportation. The recent Saudi-Russian feud saw oil barrel prices drop into the minuses for the first time in history, forcing oil tankers to actually park offshore because no one wanted to purchase the oil for refinement.
And while we’ve moved on from that, the recent pandemic has seen the fossil fuel industry take a massive, 25 trillion dollar hit, and the loss of over 100,000 jobs so far – with the worst of the recession to take that even further over the next year. This has left the humble engine’s future in question as the industry battles to remain afloat.
The next issue to contemplate is the rise of alternative means of propulsion, namely electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered motors. Both are extremely promising, both have seen a massive rise in popularity, and both might spell the end for mass production of conventional engines. There’s also the question of the gap of price between electrical technology and fossil fuel standards – while fossil fuel engines are comparatively still quite cheap, the price of batteries, for example, has been dropping like a stone in the last five years alone. In fact, by the time that 2025 comes around, it may even be cheaper for most people to buy an electric car. Not only are they cheaper to get going, the lack of moving parts means that maintenance cost are much lower.
Petrolheads need not worry, however, as the petrol engine is here to stay for the long-haul, much like our favourite online keno in Canada games. While it’s widespread, mass usage might fall to the wayside in favour of EV cars and trucks, there will always be a place for the conventional engine that we know and love, even if it’s as more of a hobby rather than a way of getting to work every day.