Written on: October 5, 2020
With the recent news out of California that the state intends to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles starting in 2035, a lot more interest in vehicles powered by alternative fuels is being generated.
For some, finding an alternative to gasoline and diesel fuels stems from environmental concerns. Others like the idea of improved mileage and saving money.
Whatever the reason, here are some things to know about alternative fuel vehicles.
The definition of an alternative fuel vehicle is one that is designed to run on at least one other fuel than gasoline or diesel.
Since engine-powered vehicles hit the marketplace, people have been seeking alternatives to gasoline and diesel. In fact, Rudolph Diesel (yes, the inventor of the diesel engine) exhibited an engine that could run on peanut oil at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris.
Electric vehicles were among the first vehicles manufactured here in the U.S. in the early 20th century.
There are currently three types of vehicles that use electricity as a fuel source.
All-electric. These vehicles have an electric motor and their only power is what is stored in the battery.
Plug-in hybrid electric. These have both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, which reduces idling and supplements power from the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine. As their name implies, you need to plug it in to recharge the battery.
Hybrid electric. Unlike a plug-in hybrid electric, you don’t have to plug these vehicles in. The electric battery is charged by the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine and regenerative braking.
There are currently more than 10,000 alternative fueling stations located all over the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy has created a searchable map so you can find the one nearest you.
Hydrogen fuel cells are used to provide the electricity to run these vehicles. They create absolutely zero tailpipe emissions. Their range is currently about 300 miles before refueling.
Yes! Propane has been powering vehicles for decades! There are more than a quarter-million vehicles run on propane autogas on the road nationwide. School districts and municipalities are discovering the benefits of autogas: low emissions, less wear, and longer vehicle life.
Many cities have begun converting their bus fleets to run on natural gas. It greatly reduces emissions and air pollution.
Absolutely! Biofuels, a descendant of the peanut oil demonstrated by Rudolph Diesel 120 years ago, are being developed. Algae, plant oils like soy and grapeseed, and animal fats can all be used to create biofuels.
Find out more about fuels for your vehicle. Contact us today!