Fuels

Hybrid gas-electric cars are not a silver bullet for all our vehicle-related oil dependency and environmental problems. We’ll also need to consider hybridizing, if you will, our fuel sources. Some alternatives require sacrificing money or convenience. Others may represent false hopes or the same problems disguised as solutions. Yet, the stakes are too high not to consider every possibility.

Biodiesel

If you have a diesel vehicle, like the idea of making your own fuel, or live close to a biodiesel source, then biodiesel is a good choice. Be advised: biodiesel reduces most emissions but does contribute to smog.

Compressed Natural Gas

Is there any type of car available today with emissions as low as a hybrid? No, but cars powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) come close. For many, cost and convenience will kill the deal.

Diesel

Diesel vehicles now account for nearly half of all new vehicle sales in Europe. Why isn’t the whole world jumping behind a diesel engine?

Ethanol

What’s behind all the talk about ethanol? Will your car soon be powered by corn, sugarcane, and/or switchgrass? Which cars can use ethanol blends and what are benefits and drawbacks?

Hydrogen

Hydrogen is the fuel of the future—and according to many, always will be. Hydrogen fuel cell cars face serious challenges before they can free us from our petroleum woes.

Petroleum (from Unconventional Sources)

Every gallon of gasoline you buy has already put five and a half pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere even before you use it in your vehicle. And if we get more of our gasoline from tar sands, the situation will get worse.