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Moreover, flywheels leak energy fairly quickly and affect a vehicle's steering through the gyroscopic effect. Wind energy is used by sailboats and land yachts as the primary source of energy.
It is very cheap and fairly easy to use, the main issues being dependence on weather and upwind performance.
Solar energy is a more modern development, and several solar vehicles have been successfully built and tested, including Helios, a solar-powered aircraft.
Nuclear power is a more exclusive form of energy storage, currently limited to large ships and submarines, mostly military.
Mechanical strain is another method of storing energy, whereby an elastic band or metal spring is deformed and releases energy as it is allowed to return to its ground state.
Systems employing elastic materials suffer from hysteresis, and metal springs are too dense to be useful in many cases. Because a light and fast rotor is energetically favorable, flywheels can pose a significant safety hazard.
Locomotion consists of a means that allows displacement with little opposition, a power source to provide the required kinetic energy and a means to control the motion, such as a brake and steering system.
By far, most vehicles use wheels which employ the principle of rolling to enable displacement with very little rolling friction.
In this case, compressed gas is simply stored in a tank and released when necessary.
A related engine is the external combustion engine. Aside from fuel, steam engines also need water, making them impractical for some purposes.
Steam engines also need time to warm up, whereas IC engines can usually run right after being started, although this may not be recommended in cold conditions.
Fuel cells are similar to batteries in that they convert from chemical to electrical energy, but have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Electrified rails and overhead cables are a common source of electrical energy on subways, railways, trams, and trolleybuses.
Another common medium for storing energy is batteries, which have the advantages of being responsive, useful in a wide range of power levels, environmentally friendly, efficient, simple to install, and easy to maintain.