There are so many types of alternative fuel vehicles around that it can get quite confusing understanding the details of each. Check out the graphic explaining the different alternative fuel vehicles and then to find cheap auto insurance quotes no matter what type of vehicle you drive just enter your zip in above to compare insurance rates!
Alternative Fuels and You: a Quick Introduction
Everyone knows we’re running out of oil, right? It’s a finite resource and we don’t have that much of it. We never had a ton of it to begin with, and early vehicles were extremely inefficient. Add to that massive oil spills like the Exxon Valdez and the BP Gulf spill and you’ve got a recipe for high demand to create new vehicles that run on new forms of fuel. The electric car has been the dream of many environmentalists and car designers for many years and the secret nightmare of many oil executives. Let’s take a quick look at some alternative fuel sources and types of cars:
Dedicated Electric Vehicles
Just what it sounds like. These cars run completely on electricity. They store of energy in their batteries and use it to power all the car’s systems. Dedicated electric cars have absolutely no tail pipe emissions, which causes less air pollution.
Flex Fuel Vehicles
These engines are designed to run on more than one fuel (hence the “flex,” part). Typically the flexible fuel of choice is gasoline blended with ethanol. The engine timing systems and spark plugs can adapt as necessary depending on the octane of the fuel. Ethanol is a better choice than oil because it is a renewable resource. It’s usually derived from corn, so we can always grow more corn. The only problem is that burning ethanol creates emissions.
Propane cars run on liquid propane, just like your gas grill at home. They have the added benefit of creating less emissions than standard cars. One major drawback of these cars is that they still use a non-renewable resource. When we are out of propane, these cars will all be dead in the driveway.
These unique cars have been out on the road for a number of years. They have an internal combustion engine inside and also feature electrical propulsion systems to switch back and forth with the gas engine. The electricity is provided by a flywheel that is activated when you brake. The electrical propulsion system reduces the car’s emissions.
If you have a diesel car or truck, then you already drive a biodiesel vehicle, whether you realize it or not. Standard diesel vehicles can process biodiesel. This fuel is made from used cooking oil and is renewable. Studies have shown that it decreases emissions of greenhouse gasses by up to 42% as compared to standard engines.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles Worldwide
If you think that alternative fuel cars are a fringe thing, think again. There have been over 43 million alternative fuel cars sold the world over as of 2011. Here are some alternative fuel vehicle statistics:
Dedicated Electric: Over 160,000 plug-in cars are on the road all over the world.
Hybrid Electric: More than three million of these half-and-half cars are being driven right now.
Biodiesel: Vehicles running on biodiesel cut CO2 emissions by 42% compared to regular diesel.
Flex Fuel: Almost 23 million flex fuel vehicles are in operation around the world.
Propane: Believe it or not, more than 11 million cars and trucks all over the place run on natural gas (Pakistan has the most with 2.4 million).
Where Can I Fill Up?
If you have an alternative fuel car, then you’re going to need somewhere to fill it up. Hybrid cars take normal gas and recharge their electrical components during the normal course of driving. People with biodiesel vehicles typically make their own fuel or get it from other local biodiesel drivers with the know-how to make it. If you want Ethanol 85 to fill up your flex vehicle, then you’ll want to refer to our handy map in the graphic above.
Finding Insurance for Alternative Fuel Vehicles
If you want to buy insurance for your alternative fuel vehicle or just buy insurance for your traditional vehicle then be sure to enter your zip in on this page to start saving money on your insurance today!