I’m sitting in the driver’s seat of a Toyota Prius, which means I’m cruising around town with zero carbon emissions. How? The car is powered by electricity that’s generated by solar panels on the roof of my home. But let me back up a bit. My journey started years ago when I heard about an alternative vehicle fuel called hydrogen that emits no greenhouse gas emissions and can be produced from renewable sources such as wind or solar energy. It sounded too good to be true, so I did some research and discovered that hydrogen-powered cars are already on the road today! Since then, my family has been driving our hydrogen-powered vehicle for more than three years now—with no regrets!
Alternative fuels are vehicles that run on fuels other than gasoline or diesel fuel.
Alternative fuels are vehicles that run on fuels other than gasoline or diesel fuel. The most common alternative fuels include natural gas, propane, hydrogen and ethanol. Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) can be powered by electricity from a battery pack or grid connection (plug-in electric).
Alternative fuel vehicles offer benefits to consumers including lower operating costs and reduced dependence on foreign oil. AFVs also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional cars because they produce fewer CO2 emissions per mile driven as well as emitting less CO2 during production of their engines and powertrains.
Battery electric vehicles, called BEVs, use electric motors powered by rechargeable batteries.
BEVs are electric vehicles that use rechargeable batteries. The battery is charged using an electric current from the grid or from a solar panel, and it powers the motors that drive your car.
Battery technology has improved dramatically over the past decade, but it’s still not perfect. Batteries are expensive, heavy and bulky–they take up about half of a BEV’s weight! Batteries also have limited capacity: they can only store so much energy before needing to be recharged again (and then some). Fortunately for us consumers this means we get more bang for our buck when buying new batteries!
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, called PHEVs, use electricity and gasoline.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, called PHEVs, use electricity and gasoline. They’re more expensive than BEVs and take longer to charge; but they’re better for short trips because you don’t have to worry about running out of power.
They also use less energy overall than BEVs because they can run on gasoline when necessary (and this feature makes them more appealing for people who don’t want their commute affected by charging time).
Fuel cell vehicles, called FCVs, use hydrogen gas instead of gasoline or diesel fuel to produce power.
Fuel cell vehicles, called FCVs, use hydrogen gas instead of gasoline or diesel fuel to produce power. They’re electric vehicles that have no tailpipe emissions and produce only water vapor. The only byproduct of the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen is electricity that powers the car’s motor.
Fuel cells can be refueled in minutes rather than hours–just like conventional cars at a gas station–and can offer a driving range of 300 to 400 miles on a single tankful of HHO (hydrogen-rich stream). That’s comparable with today’s best battery-powered EVs but without any charging time required! Plus you’ll never have to worry about running out of juice while you’re on the road…or losing range as your battery loses its ability over time (which happens with all lithium-ion batteries).
Alternative vehicle fuels can help reduce air pollution and save money.
Alternative vehicle fuels can help reduce air pollution, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil, save money on fuel costs, and save money on maintenance costs.
- *Alternative vehicles are more efficient than traditional cars. They use less energy to travel the same distance as a conventional car or truck because of their lighter weight or aerodynamic design.
- *They also produce fewer emissions per mile traveled than conventional vehicles. This is because they use alternative fuels that contain less carbon than gasoline (such as ethanol) or electricity produced from renewable sources such as solar or wind power rather than coal-fired plants that produce large amounts of greenhouse gases when burned for electricity generation.
The future is now, and it’s full of exciting new possibilities. Alternative vehicle fuels are just one example of how we can reduce air pollution and save money while still enjoying the same freedom we have always enjoyed with our cars and trucks.