Lets face it, eventually we will have to replace gasoline as the main energy source for our automobiles. Lucky for us there are already options we can utilize to help wean our country off our dependency on oil.
Most of these options have been available for years, unfortunately it has taken unstable world politics and an increase in the price of oil for us to collectively consider taking the leap into alternative fuel sources.
Here we have listed some of the fuel options we are faced with at the moment.
Growing in popularity, the Biodiesel option is a great one to consider if you drive a diesel. Generally Biodiesel is made from renewable plant sources that are not only biodegradable but also produce about 60% less carbon dioxide emissions than petroleum based diesel.
This fuel source can be mixed with regular diesel fuel or used at 100% purity in a diesel engine. While it seems that the jury is out about using 100% pure Biodiesel in diesel engines without modifications, some car manufacturers sell diesel engines they insist are Biodiesel ready.
Volkswagenbeing a big advocate of using pure Biodiesel in their diesel engines. Although it is difficult to acquire in the states, many gas stations in Europe offer pure Biodiesel to their customers.
It’s coming folks.
Compressed Natural Gas
Compressed Natural Gas is already used throughout the United States as an energy resource. When compressed it can be stored in a gas tank and then used as fuel for cars and trucks.
Already used widely throughout the globe, Natural Gas is a very clean alternative to the gas burning engine. Not to mention that the cost of converting a gas burning engine to utilize Natural Gas is not a back breaking one.
Natural Gas is not only a clean source of energy, but a cheap one as well. The main drawback being that cars rigged to run on natural gas can’t get as far on a tank as gas powered engines.
A problem that seems easy enough to come up with solutions for should auto manufacturers be pressed to.
Ethanol is generally produced from corn or sugar sources and offers a higher octane than gasoline, in fact many gas stations you purchase gas from now have small percentages of ethanol mixed in with the gasoline.
This mixture can be used in any vehicle and does not require any modification to the engine, it is actually mandated in some states where emissions levels are considered dangerously high.
Although it does take minor modifications to ensure an engine can operate reliably on a higher ratio of ethanol to gasoline; in the long run the fewer emissions and higher energy output far outweigh the cost of those modifications.
Don’t let anyone tell you that alternative fuel sources mean we will have to give up our hot rods.
Electric vehicles discharge absolutely no emissions.
Research and development has not yet come up with a way to mass produce a vehicle that is powered solely by electricity. However, there are hybrid options that use gas powered engines for acceleration and utilize regenerative breaking systems to charge the battery as the car is being slowed.
It would benefit us tremendously as a nation to convert to electricity, other than the obvious pollution reduction and diminished dependence on fossil fuels. It’s an efficient source of power and tends to be relatively mechanically simple.