July 14, 2024

Horace Oberhaus

Connected Transportation Tech

Powering the Roads: A Look at Alternative Fuel Vehicles


Alternative fuels are here, but they’re not widely used yet. They offer many benefits to consumers, including lower costs and environmental responsibility. Alternative fuels include biodiesel, ethanol, propane and natural gas.

Alternative fuels are any fuel that is consumed in a vehicle that is fundamentally different than gasoline or diesel.

Alternative fuels are any fuel that is consumed in a vehicle that is fundamentally different than gasoline or diesel. The most common alternative fuels include biodiesel, ethanol and hydrogen. While these alternate fuels have been used for decades, they still aren’t widely used today.

The reasons behind this vary depending on the type of alternative fuel you’re looking at:

  • Biodiesel has been around since the 1920s but never caught on due to concerns over its sustainability and cost effectiveness compared with petroleum-based diesel fuel; recent technological advances have improved its production methods so now it may be ready for prime time (at least when blended with regular diesel).
  • Ethanol has only recently become commercially available thanks to government subsidies designed to encourage its use; however, it can only be produced from corn crops which makes it not very sustainable if we want our cars’ gas tanks filled up regularly with something other than corn syrup!
  • Hydrogen might sound like science fiction but actually exists naturally within our atmosphere – all we need do is extract hydrogen from water molecules using electricity generated by solar panels placed atop buildings near busy areas where there’s lots of traffic congestion (like downtown LA).

The Golden Age of Alternative Fuels

The golden age of alternative fuels was in the 1970s, when high fuel prices and concerns about energy security pushed automakers to experiment with new technologies.

In the years leading up to 1973’s Arab oil embargo, Americans were driving more miles than ever before. But as gas prices rose, so did interest in reducing reliance on foreign oil imports–and that interest spread from environmentalists who wanted cleaner air and water all the way up through corporate boardrooms where executives saw an opportunity for profit by bringing new technology into their companies’ production processes.

The result was a flurry of activity as carmakers experimented with different types of engines based on everything from hybrid technology (though it didn’t yet have that name) through hydrogen-powered vehicles using methanol or natural gas instead of gasoline–even electric cars!


Biodiesel is a type of fuel that can be used in place of diesel fuel. It’s made from vegetable oil, animal fats, and recycled grease. Biodiesel is a cleaner burning fuel than regular diesel, but it’s not as efficient.

Biodiesel can be used in any engine designed to run on petroleum-based fuels (like gasoline). The most common way to use biodiesel is with an adapter kit that fits onto your existing vehicle’s fuel line or tank opening. You’ll also need a filter system that removes water particles from the biodiesel mixture before it enters your car’s engine.*


Ethanol is a biofuel that can be made from many different types of plant material, including corn. It’s used in vehicles that are specially modified to run on it, but is not widely used yet. However, ethanol’s popularity is growing as the world looks for alternatives to fossil fuels.

Alternative fuels are here, but they’re not widely used yet.

Alternative fuels are here, but they’re not widely used yet.

  • Alternative fuels are not as widely available as gasoline or diesel.
  • Alternative fuels are more expensive than gasoline or diesel.
  • They do not have the same efficiency as gasoline or diesel, which means they will require more energy to produce the same amount of power (or less).
  • They are also less environmentally friendly than gasoline or diesel because they produce more pollution when burned in an engine at high temperatures for long periods of time like cars do (this is called “thermal degradation”).


There are many alternative fuels on the market today, but none have been able to replace gasoline or diesel. This is for a variety of reasons, including cost and infrastructure issues. However, there are still plenty of people who believe in these alternative fuels and continue to use them in their vehicles–and we hope that someday soon they will become more common!