Alt Fuels

  • Utah highway

    Whatever the future energy mix, it's becoming apparent that coal and gas are both hugely consumptive and not entirely great for the environment--even if they provide large swathes of the world with their energy. Renewable energies like solar, wind and hydro on the other hand supply only a small proportion of the world's population, yet they're vastly cleaner. The challenge is scaling them up to such an extent they can be truly useful. But how do you make use of nature's own energy? One option is solar roads--using heat from the criss-cross of asphalt in every nation to generate electricity...

  • Utah
    How To Celebrate Earth Day? Utah Says: Oil, Gas & Mining!

    Sometimes there comes an idea so audacious, so inspired, so downright jaw-dropping that it's worth covering even if it doesn't directly involve cars. You may know Earth Day is coming up on Monday, April 22. Localities and groups all over the country celebrate it. So, how has the Utah Department of...

  • Clean Cities National Parks Initiative infographic (Image: U.S. DoE)
    Clean Fuels In Beautiful Places: U.S. Parks Service Goes Even Greener

    For those readers living in one of America's big cities, concrete jungles strewn across the North American landscape, it's easy to forget that hundreds of thousands of acres are set aside in some states as National Parks. Isolated from the bustle of busy cities they're idyllic spots, precious for...

  • Lotus Mobile solar charging array (Image: Monarch Power)
    Lotus Mobile: A Portable, Affordable Solar Charging Solution?

    Given millions of years of adaptation to conditions, it's no surprise that nature is pretty good at doing what it does. Each leaf on a tree, and indeed the shape of a tree's canopy, is the work of refinements over millenia to capture the most sunlight possible to ensure the tree's growth. Why not...

  • Beakers (Flickr user Move The Clouds)
    Biofuel From CO2: Too Good To Be True?

    We currently have two main issues in our transport future. The first is cutting down on fossil fuel use, ensuring our finite supplies can be used for longer than our current consumption levels would account for. The second is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, helping prevent runaway climate...

  • Toyota FCV-R hydrogen fuel-cell concept car, 2012 Detroit Auto Show
    DoE Backpedals, Will Fund Slight Hydrogen Fueling Station Expansion

    It appears that the U.S. Department of Energy has had a change of heart. Four years ago, then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu was widely known as a skeptic about hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Last summer, he appeared to relent--and now the DoE has said it will launch a campaign to promote hydrogen...

  • 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid

    Say "carpool lane" or "HOV Access" or "white sticker" or "green sticker," and most California commuters will begin to drool uncontrollably. The ability to drive in relatively uncrowded High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes with just a single person in the vehicle is a privilege that Californians will pay for. And that's precisely why the state allowed 85,000 owners of three different hybrids to apply for stickers that let them do just that, ending in 2011. The availability of those 85,000 stickers helped to jump-start sales of the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, and first-generation Honda...

  • Martin Winterkorn, (now former) CEO of Volkswagen AG, at opening of VW engine plant, Silao, Mexico
    Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Cars Not Viable, Says Volkswagen CEO

    Leave it to the Germans to be blunt. Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn has rendered his company's verdict on the future of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles: They're not viable. Fuel-cell cars suffer from a lack of infrastructure, he said, will be far too costly for consumers, and use a fuel that...

  • Gas pump
    Demand For Gas Falls, Gas Prices Rise: Blame Ethanol (And Congress)

    For fans of fuel efficiency, the New York Times has good news and bad news. The good news is: drivers in the U.S. are using less gas these days. The bad news is: that's driving up the cost of gas. To anyone who's taken Econ 101, that probably seems counter-intuitive -- mostly because it is. To...

  • President Obama inspects the 2011 Chevrolet Volt
    Obama: Use Oil & Gas Lease Dollars To Fund Gasoline-Free Cars

    The sequester is now with us, and Congress has lower approval ratings than South American death squads, but President Obama is doggedly pursuing his green agenda nonetheless. Today, he will announce a plan to divert $2 billion of Federal oil and gas lease revenues over the next decade from general...

  • Big square baler harvesting wheat straw for production of cellulosic ethanol
    U.S. Biofuels & Ethanol Mandate: More Vulnerable Than Ever Now?

    Since 2007, U.S. fuel producers have been required by law to include more and more ethanol and other biofuels in their blends. Now, Pike Research suggests, the biofuels mandate enacted as part of the 2007 U.S. Energy Act may be vulnerable to renewed political pressure. Pike notes that the drawbacks...

  • KLM biofuel-powered airliner (KLM)
    Air Travel Gets Greener: Biofuel Route Opens Between NYC & Netherlands

    Air travel is currently the only realistic way of covering huge distances in very short spaces of time. Unfortunately, it's not a particularly green way of doing so either--airliners use large quantities of fossil fuels and emit plenty of pollutants as they whizz you to a far-flung destination...

  • 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI test car running on Solazyme algae-derived diesel fuel

    For a century, we've gotten almost all our gasoline and diesel fuel from petrochemicals. Now Silicon Valley startup Solazyme [NSDQ:SZYM] is testing diesel fuel derived from refining renewable oils--produced by specialized algae--in two Volkswagen turbodiesel models. Since July 2012, the VW Passat TDI mid-size sedan and Jetta TDI compact sedan have covered about 20,000 miles together running exclusively on algae-derived diesel fuel. The results of the year-long test, a joint effort of Volkswagen and Solazyme, will be issued later this year. VW engineers and Solazyme will pay particular...

  • Aston Martin Rapide S
    Hydrogen-Powered Aston Martin Rapide To Hit The Track In 2013

    Fuel cells aren't the only way to use hydrogen as a fuel in vehicles--burning it works too. That's exactly what Aston Martin will be doing at the Nurburgring 24-hour race later this year, when it fields a hydrogen-fueled version of its Rapide luxury sedan. According to our sister site Motor...

  • Corn Ethanol Pump
    E15 Ethanol Controversy: No Signs Of Moderating Any Time Soon

    Debate over the slow rollout and potentially damaging effects of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol blended in just continues to roll on. The latest to pile on are members of the Science Committee in the House of Representatives, which held a hearing Tuesday on the progress of EPA efforts to roll out...

  • 2014 Audi A3 g-tron
    Audi A3 g-tron: Natural Gas Compact Debuts At Geneva Show

    No, that's not a misprint--Audi really is launching an A3 g-tron next to its A3 e-tron at the Geneva Motor Show. While the e-tron is a plug-in hybrid using Audi's in-development electric vehicle technology, the g-tron uses a different alternative fuel--natural gas. The 2014 Audi A3 g-tron is set to...

  • Biobot 20 tabletop biodiesel generator
    Biobot: Make Breakfast, Generate Biodiesel, Refuel Car

    There are many facets to green motoring, but for some the prospect of buying a new hybrid or electric car is neither realistic nor desirable. For these people, biofuels may be an option, particularly those recycled from other products. Biodiesel made from used cooking oils is one such fuel, and is...

  • 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Zero-Emission 2014 Chevy Silverado Model Now Available

    It doesn't get much attention as a green vehicle, but the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck line is the best-selling vehicle line at General Motors. Now there's a zero-emission version, and it's available today. That means that you can acquire one even before this spring's launch of the all-new...

  • Toyota Advanced Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles (FCHV-adv)

    Their part in the future energy mix for vehicles may be small, but several companies are taking a renewed look at hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. That's if recent partnerships are anything to go by, at any rate--Toyota and BMW recently joined forces, as have Ford, Renault-Nissan and Daimler. The U.S. Department of Energy is also continuing its research, and Toyota has loaned two fuel-cell vehicles to the DoE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Each vehicle will help the NREL with its research into hydrogen refueling infrastructure, renewable hydrogen production and vehicle performance. The...

  • wind farm
    Honda To Use Wind Turbines For Energy At Ohio Plant

    It's no good simply producing green cars these days--you have to be green at every stage of producing the cars, too. With GM using solar at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant and Volkswagen recently unveiling a huge solar array at its Chattanooga plant, Honda is next to display its green credentials--with...

  • Big square baler harvesting wheat straw for production of cellulosic ethanol
    EPA Quota For Cellulosic Fuels Tossed Out By Court As 'Wish'

    Whatever the merits of ethanol as a fuel or a gasoline additive--and it's taken some hits lately--it's still in the running. The same cannot be said, however, for cellulosic biofuels, those derived from advanced crops or waste products. On Friday, a Federal appeals court ruled that an EPA mandate...

  • Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell
    Daimler, Ford, Nissan Agree To Share Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Costs For 2017 Or Later

    The speculation is over, as Daimler has signed a three-way agreement with Ford and the Renault-Nissan Alliance to jointly develop future hydrogen fuel-cell technology. The technology, expensive to develop and not without its drawbacks, has been explored by each company in the past, and the...

  • Solar Field, Mojave Desert [Credit: ©2012 Jamey Stillings, courtesy of the Forward Thinking Museum]
    What A Really Gigantic Solar Power Plant Looks Like

    Viewed from hundreds of feet, individual elements of Solar Field One, part of the Ivanpah power plant in the Mojave Desert take on a hypnotizing, scale-like appearance. The Californian solar plant and its thousands of heliostats are captured here by photographer Jamey Stillings as part of his...

  • 2011 Toyota FCV-R Concept
    BMW, Toyota Confirm Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Technology Deals

    BMW and Toyota have finalized a deal for the future of each automaker's hydrogen fuel cell technology. The agreement will mean BMW licenses future fuel cell technology from Toyota, and marks the latest point in the two automakers' recent cooperations. BMW will begin developing a prototype fuel cell...

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