Alternative fuels offer an opportunity to minimize our dependence on foreign oil, support domestic economies, lessen our environmental footprint, and reduce operating costs through cheaper fuel and maintenance. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 defines alternative fuels as: hydrogen; electricity; pure biodiesel (B100); natural gas and liquid fuels domestically produced from natural gas; methanol and ethanol; blends of 85% or more of alcohol with gasoline; liquified petroleum gas(propane); and other fuels derived from biological materials. The following is a brief description of the major alternative fuels in use in our region:
Can be used to power all-electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). These vehicles draw electricity from off-board electrical sources and store it in on-board batteries. PHEVs use electricity to improve fuel efficiency whereas EVs have no traditional fuel tank and therefore are the least polluting vehicle available in the world right now.
Natural Gas accounts for about a quarter of the energy used in the United States. While the bulk of natural gas consumption occurs in the residential, commercial, industrial, and electricity-production sectors, natural gas is also a clean-burning alternative fuel that can have a significant impact on the transportation sector.
A domestically produced, renewable fuel that can be manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease. Approximately 90% of biodiesel fuel in the U.S. comes from soybean oils. It is a cleaner burning drop-in fuel replacement for petroleum diesel. Biodiesel is an easy to use alternative fuel because it does not require any engine or vehicle modifications in order to be used.
Hydrogen (H2) is an alternative fuel that can be produced from domestic resources. Although in its market infancy as a transportation fuel, government and industry are working towards clean, economical, and safe hydrogen production and distribution for use in fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
Also known as propane. LPG is a cleaner burning fossil fuel and decreases exhaust emissions, particularly CO2. Worldwide, LPG is the third most popular vehicle fuel. LPG is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and free of additives. 90% of LPG consumed in the United States comes from domestic sources.
Is a fuel made from corn and other plant materials. Ethanol is very widespread – practically all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains ethanol in a low-level blend. However, ethanol is also available in a high-level blend as E85 for use in flexible fuel vehicles.