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What are Alternative Fuel Vehicles?

Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV’s) are vehicles that utilize fuels other than conventional gasoline or diesel to power their engines. From an air quality standpoint, many alternative fuel vehicles emit less carbon dioxide, less particulates, and less nitrous oxides than their conventional gasoline counterparts. Today there are a number of alternative fuel vehicles on the market that utilize biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, natural gas, and even propane.

 

Biodiesel:
Biodiesel is a cleaner burning alternative to traditional petroleum diesel. This renewable fuel can be domestically produced from vegetable oils, animal fats, or even recycled restaurant grease. Today, almost all conventional diesel vehicles are capable of running on various biodiesel blends without any engine modification. To learn more about biodiesel vehicles, visit: https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/biodiesel.html   

Electric Vehicles:
Electric vehicles do what their name suggests—run on electricity directly from the power grid which is stored in batteries inside of the vehicles. As a result, they do not have a traditional internal combustion engine which means that they produce zero tailpipe emissions. Today, there are more than 30 all-electric or partial-electric models of passenger vehicles available for sale, with more in development—in addition to other types of vehicles, such as electric buses and trucks. To learn more about electric vehicles, visit: www.DriveGreenNJ.gov  or https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity.html

Ethanol:
Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from corn and other plant materials, collectively known as “biomass”. More than 97% of all U.S. gasoline actually contains a small percentage of ethanol to help oxygenate the fuel and reduce air pollution. Ethanol is also available as E85 (a high level ethanol-gasoline blend) which can be used in many “flex fuel” vehicles that are currently on the market. To learn more about ethanol vehicles, visit: https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol.html  

Hydrogen:
Hydrogen vehicles convert hydrogen in a fuel cell stored within the vehicle into electricity that can be used to power the car. As a result, hydrogen vehicles are true “zero-emission vehicles”, since the only tailpipe emission is water. Currently, the number of hydrogen vehicles on the market and the number of hydrogen fueling stations is limited, but can be expected to increase in the coming years. To learn more about hydrogen vehicles, visit: https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/hydrogen.html

Natural Gas:
Natural gas vehicles are powered by domestically abundant natural gas that is compressed in its gaseous form (CNG) or liquefied (LNG) before being stored within tanks in the vehicles. Due to its abundance, natural gas is typically much cheaper than conventional gasoline or diesel for vehicles. Today, the majority of CNG or LNG vehicles are heavy and medium-duty, but there are some light-duty models available for sale as well. To learn more about natural gas vehicles, visit: https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/natural_gas.html

Propane:
Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or propane autogas has been in use worldwide for fueling vehicles for decades. Propane has a lower carbon content compared to conventional gasoline or diesel, meaning that it produces less greenhouse gases through the tailpipe of vehicles. Similarly to CNG and LNG, most propane applications are in heavy-duty and light-duty vehicles, but there are some light-duty propane vehicles as well. To learn more about propane vehicles, visit: https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/propane.html

 

Locating AFV Fueling Stations

There are many AFV fueling stations for public use located throughout New Jersey. To locate a station near you, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center’s Station Locator Tool: https://www.afdc.energy.gov/locator/stations/

 

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Last Updated: January 18, 2018