Alt Fuels

  • 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas

    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 storage tanks into vehicle designs. While pickup-truck adaptions customarily put the cylindrical tanks in the front of the bed, or perhaps under the bed between the frame rails, the challenges are much tougher for passenger cars. The 2013 Honda Civic Natural Gas, for instance--the only passenger...

  • Aston Martin Hybrid Hyrdogen Rapide S
    Hydrogen Aston Martin Rapide Completes First Racing Lap, Many More To Follow

    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...

  • 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

    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 that number are already either in operation or set for use shortly, while the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) sets out two main statistics for future filling stations in the state. By 2015, the state expects to have a solid 37 public stations up and running, from currently available...

  • Utah highway
    Solar Roads: Is The Future Of Energy Under Our Feet?

    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...

  • 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

    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 fueled cars, tentatively deemed H2USA. According to a writeup in trade journal Automotive News, the campaign is as much about symbolism and convincing municipalities and the industry that there is support for further tests of hydrogen cars. The article notes the campaign won't be lavishly funded...

  • 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid
    CA Drivers Want Carpool-Lane Access, Honda Gives It To Them (But There's A Catch)

    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...

  • 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 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. They could get greener though according to Biodiesel Magazine, thanks to sustainable biofuels. The National Wildlife Federation, Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have come together to announce the first fully-certified biofuel route, between Amsterdam in the...

  • 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI test car running on Solazyme algae-derived diesel fuel
    Diesel Fuel Derived From Algae Now Testing In 2 VW TDI Models

    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...

  • 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...

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