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Alternative fuel vehicle
Alternative fuel vehicles are vehicles that use energy that comes from something other than petroleum (oil). (Gasoline and diesel fuel come from petroleum). Most of the alternative energy does not need to be imported from other countries, so money stays in the country. Some (but not all) come from renewable sources. Many produce less pollution than gasoline or diesel.
Alternative fuel vehicles cover a wide range of engines and motors.
- Electric vehicle - no pollution from the car, but there can be some pollution where the electricity is made
- Natural gas vehicle - a fossil fuel, but burns much cleaner than gasoline, and there is more natural gas available than petroleum
- Biodiesel vehicle - diesel fuel that comes from plant (or sometimes animal) oils
- Ethanol vehicle - quite often ethanol is mixed with gasoline, from 10% to 85% ethanol (called E10 or E85)
- Methanol vehicle - Methanol and ethanol are used in many of the fastest race cars
- Butanol vehicle - similar to ethanol and methanol, this can be made from many biofuels, but is not commonly used
- Hydrogen car - also called a fuel cell vehicle, or FCV
- Compressed air vehicle - this technology works, but vehicles are still in the demonstration stage, and range can be a problem
- Propane (or liquified petroleum gas, LPG)
- Alternative Fuels Development Center (U.S. Department of Energy)