So, now that you know all about electric vehicles, what are the other options you have when it comes to alternative fuels? Let’s look at some of the other fuels on the market.

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel that is manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease. It is used in diesel vehicles, as it is similar to petroleum diesel, however it is more environmentally friendly due to reuse and is cleaner burning. It is used often used in a blend with regular diesel fuel and can be used in most diesel vehicles without engine modification.

Benefits

  • Domestically produced
  • It is one of the cleanest fuels on the road and has 74% less carbon dioxide emissions than petroleum diesel
  • It is less combustible than petroleum diesel, making it safer to handle, store, and transport as well as being safer for the environment in cases of spillage

For more information on biodiesel visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) here.

Ethanol is made from corn and other plant materials. The use of ethanol is already widespread, being in more than 97% of gasoline in the U.S. It is most commonly in E10 which is 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline, as well as E85, or flex fuel, which is 51%-83% ethanol depending on season and geography.

Flexible fuels vehicles (FFVs) are vehicles that use ethanol. They have an internal combustion engine and can use gasoline and any ethanol blend up to E85. Many vehicles are FFVs without the owners even realizing it.

Benefits

  • Domestically produced
  • Production creates jobs in rural areas
  • Lower emissions because the crops grown for ethanol capture carbon dioxide
  • FFVs are available nationwide making them easily accessible and cheaper than other alternative vehicles

For more information on ethanol visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) here.

Hydrogen is used in a fuel cell to produce electricity. It is emission free and a passenger vehicle can be filled in 10 minutes to give a driving range of 300 miles or more. Hydrogen vehicles are called Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) which only emit water vapor and warm air, as opposed to carbon dioxide from internal combustion engines. They are still in the early stages of development; however, they are up and coming and are available for alternative fuel vehicle tax credits.

Benefits

  • Domestically produced
  • Zero harmful emissions

For more information on hydrogen visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) here.

Natural gas is readily available through the utility infrastructure and can be produced conventionally or renewably from organic materials such as landfill and livestock waste. It can come in the form of compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG).

There are three types of natural gas vehicles:

  1. Dedicated: Runs only on natural gas
  2. Bi-fuel: Have two fueling systems, allowing them to run on either natural gas or gasoline
  3. Dual-fuel: Traditionally heavy-duty vehicles, run on natural gas, and use diesel for ignition assistance

Benefits

  • Domestically produced
  • Lower emissions
  • When using renewable natural gas, reduces vehicle emissions and source organic material emissions

For more information on natural gas visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) here.

Also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), propane is a cleaner-burning alternative fuel, and is  a cheaper option for people in the transportation sector that have traditionally relied on diesel such as school buses. Propane vehicles have the potential for lower maintenance costs since propane allows for longer engine life and performs well in cold weather.

There are two types of propane vehicles:

  1. Dedicated: Run only on propane, and
  2. Bi-fuel: Two separate fueling systems that allow to run on either propane or gasoline.

Benefits

  • Domestically produced
  • Cost of propane is significantly lower than gasoline
  • Produce less emissions than gasoline

For more information on propane visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) here.

Any Questions?

For more information on alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles, please contact Greater Lansing Area Clean Cities at (517) 393-0342, or email Jeremy Orr at jorr@mitcrpc.org.

What else do you need to know about alternative fuel vehicles? Let us know below or reach out to us through our Facebook or Twitter.