Alt Fuels

  • 2014 Ford F-150 fitted with natural-gas readiness package

    Ford is the latest automaker to offer a natural gas fuel option for its best-selling pickup truck range. The 2014 Ford F-150 will be offered with a natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) preparation option aiding installation of a suitable fuel system at qualified third-party installers. Available for the 3.7-liter V-6 engine, the 2014 F-150 will be the first half-ton pickup to gain such an option--although natural gas versions of larger heavy-duty pickups are sold by Chevrolet, GMC and Ram. While the package costs only $315 and consists of hardened valves, valve seats, pistons...

  • Prokhorov CityCar natural-gas hybrid vehicle, design prototype
    Yo-Auto Natural-Gas Hybrid Update: Production Now In 2015?

    With Teslas and BMW i3s dominating the green car headlines, it's easy to forget that plenty of other automakers are creating their own low-emission vehicles. In Russia, that company is Yo-Avto. The automaker has promised a natural gas hybrid vehicle for some time--and that time could now be 2015...

  • Hyundai Tucson Fuel-Cell vehicle enters production
    Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars More Viable With Cheaper, More Efficient Electrolysis?

    Whatever you think of hydrogen-powered vehicles, recent technology-sharing deals have shown the automakers themselves are beginning to push towards fuel cell vehicles. Among other issues, it's hydrogen's production causing a few issues for the burgeoning industry--it's neither very efficient, nor...

  • Rusty car (Image: Flickr user Another Seb)
    Is Rust The Key To Cleaner, Solar-Generated Hydrogen?

    Rust is usually something to be avoided in the automotive world, unless you're a hot-rodder looking for that sun-scorched appearance or a VW scene kid wanting the "rat look". But while most associate rust with decay, scientists are finding another use for it--and one which could improve hydrogen...

  • All-gas biofuel plant in Chiclana, Spain (Image: All-gas)
    Spanish Town To Run Cars On Biofuel From Human Poop...

    Humans are a lot like cars. No, seriously--in order to make us work, we need fuel. That fuel is our food, which we metabolize in order to function, and anything not required by the body we produce as waste. Sounds familiar, right? Conveniently, that waste can then also be used to fuel our cars...

  • Natural-gas vehicle prototypes, Los Angeles, May 2013 - gasoline & natural-gas fillers in gas door
    'Add Natural Gas' Ad Campaign To Promote New Type Of Cars

    On Tuesday, six prototype cars powered by natural gas for their first 60 or so miles and by gasoline thereafter were unveiled in Washington, D.C. Now, the natural-gas industry is taking them on the road to "drive a conversation about the benefits of natural gas as a transportation fuel for...

  • Natural-gas vehicle prototypes, Los Angeles, May 2013 - group shot at Playa del Rey storage field

    To date, natural-gas vehicles have come with significant compromises. The high-pressure tanks that hold enough compressed natural gas to run 200 miles or more take up many cubic feet of space in the trunk, load bay, or pickup bed. But what if you could design a vehicle that had just enough natural gas to run 50 to 75 miles--without any change to its cargo space? That's just what vehicle-development consultant Carlab designed--four of them, in fact--and we drove the prototypes last month. The concept is identical to that of a Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car: Run the vehicle's first...

  • Hyundai ix35 hydrogen fuel-cell car
    Hyundai Still Backing Hydrogen Fuel Cells--Where Infrastructure Exists

    On June 3, Hyundai delivered the first ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle in Europe, to the City of Copenhagen in Denmark. Production of the company's hydrogen-fueled vehicle began in February. That means that its first production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle is now on the roads, albeit at low planned volumes...

  • Biofuel crops (photo: Texas A&M University biofuels research alliance)
    Low Carbon Fuel Standard Proving More Successful Than Expected

    A report analyzing the uptake of low-carbon fuels says that fossil-fuel alternatives are actually growing faster than expected. The report, produced by a coalition of investors, utilities, and makers of alternative fuels and vehicles, suggests alternative fuels are proving more popular than...

  • Solar Panels by Flickr user Chandra Marsono
    World's Largest Coal Company To Use Solar Power In Bid To Cut Energy Costs

    It's perfectly reasonable to be skeptical when an alternative energy organization says we should move away from fossil fuels, and likewise reasonable to be skeptical when the fossil fuel industry says we have nothing to worry about. But when the world's largest coal producer turns to solar power...

  • Audi A3 g-tron first drive, Berlin
    Audi A3 g-tron: First Drive Of Natural Gas Compact Car

    We lost count of just how many times Audi engineers used the phrase "no compromises" during their 'tron' presentations in Berlin. And driving the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron, a near-standard A3 running on natural gas, it's hard not to agree with them--at least initially. For the average car buyer, the...

  • Mercedes-Benz Hydrogen Fuel-Cell vehicle
    Hydrogen Production Gets Cleaner: Now With Lower Carbon Monoxide

    Hydrogen is often lauded as a fuel of the future--a way to offer the combined benefits of electric vehicles and combustion cars in one, simple package. The reality is a little more complicated, as you might imagine. But one of hydrogen's long-standing issues, the cleanliness of its production...

  • 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas

    We've been thinking a lot about natural-gas fueled vehicles, for reasons that will become clear in due course. Writing about green cars can occasionally be awkward, because there are different audiences for diesels versus hybrids, for plug-in electric cars, and for other types of alternative fuels. The purchase motivations that drive buyers of plug-in electric cars may be very different from those that might lead someone to prefer to run a car on natural gas. Yet much of the general media seems to assume it's gasoline versus everything else, and that all of the alternative powertrain...

  • Algae [source: VentureBeat]
    U.S. Perfectly Placed For Algae-Based Biofuel Production

    The U.S. is sitting on top of a fuel goldmine, it seems. Not shale gas or crude oil, but fresh water and suitable land to produce 25 billion gallons of algae-based biofuel--a month's worth of the country's fuel needs each year. The discovery comes from the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific...

  • Two BNSF locomotives hauling coal trains meet near Wichita Falls, Texas
    Another Convert To Natural-Gas Fueling: Railroad Locomotives?

    The U.S. is increasingly awash in natural gas, so it's natural to consider it as a potential vehicle fuel. From passenger cars to long-haul trucks, both compressed natural gas (CNG) and refrigerated liquid natural gas (LNG) are being eyed as a replacement for diesel fuel and gasoline. Now, natural...

  • VPG MV-1
    DoE Fear After Fisker Fiasco Caused Death Of VPG, Ex-CEO Says

    The ex-CEO of a now-defunct automaker that received a federal loan said his company would still be in business if the government were not afraid of backlash like that following the failure of electric automaker Fisker. The automaker, Vehicle Production Group (aka VPG Autos), produced the MV-1, a...

  • VPG MV-1
    VPG Shuts Down; Startup Van Maker Was Backed By DoE Loans

    While Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] is on a roll--with a rave review from Consumer Reports and a profitable quarter--other startup automakers aren't faring so well. And now another small car company that received low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Energy is in trouble and has halted...

  • 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas
    Natural Gas Vehicles: Technology Targets The Challenges

    As a vehicle fuel, natural gas holds considerable promise but faces a number of challenges. Overcoming those challenges is the goal of recent funding granted by the U.S. Department of Energy for a handful of research projects. Among them are the challenges of incorporating high-pressure natural gas...

  • Aston Martin Hybrid Hyrdogen Rapide S

    Aston Martin has achieved its target of completing a racing lap around one of the world's toughest tracks--on hydrogen fuel. The hydrogen-powered Aston Martin Rapide S made its debut at a four-hour ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup VLN series race, at the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany. The team, led by Aston Martin CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez, was only aiming for one lap on hydrogen fuel. That doesn't seem much of a target, but Aston Martin is taking baby steps with the new car before it competes in the full 24-hour race at the circuit next month. “To have run full laps on...

  • E. Coli bacteria the next source of biofuel? (Image: adonofrio Biology101.org on Flickr)
    Biofuel From Bacteria Perfectly Mimics Hydrocarbon Fuel (In The Lab)

    There are many reasons for wanting to wean ourselves off oil, but environmental issues and measuring out dwindling resources are two fairly significant ones. The trouble is, oil is incredibly convenient. It's energy dense and in cars, we can replenish it in minutes. So how do you take those...

  • Natural Gas-powered Kenworth truck (Image: Flickr user TruckPR)
    Natural Gas As Vehicle Fuel: Why Trucks Make More Sense Than Cars

    Natural gas passenger cars have never really taken off in the U.S. like some thought they might. While the fuel is hugely popular in countries like Brazil, gasoline has always reigned supreme in North America. Or diesel, if you're a long-haul trucker--though that could be about to change. Natural...

  • Sergio Marchionne
    Chrysler CEO: Going Green is Good, But Natural Gas Better Than Electric

    Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne isn't known for his love of electric vehicles. We really rate the company's first offering, the 2014 Fiat 500e electric car, but Sergio himself doesn't--speaking at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2013 World Congress, he reiterated that the company is losing...

  • Tax forms by Flickr user bobt54
    CA Bill To Cut Sales-Tax, License Fees On Electric, Alt-Fuel Cars

    Today, electric cars and other vehicles that run on alternative fuels simply cost more. That's a fact. Now a new bill introduced in the California Assembly aims to trim a bit more off the costs of buying and registering these cars by reducing their assessed value. The brainchild of Assemblyman Al...

  • Honda Solar Hydrogen Station prototype with 2010 Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle
    California To Have Up To 70 Hydrogen Fueling Stations By 2016?

    Our planet may have only gained 27 hydrogen filling stations in 2012, but California is hoping to have nearly 70 of its own in total by 2016. So says the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which provides a list of government-funded hydrogen stations in California on its website. Around third of...

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