With the ever climbing costs of fuel derived from crude oil, many of us are considering swapping to an alternative fuel vehicle. You may be considering what option, of the many available, is right for you. The advantages and disadvantages of each are discussed below. I hope this will help you make a decision about which one you should choose.
Bio fuel in your regular car:
One of the fastest ways to make your current car greener is to switch from the fuel you use now to a bio fuel made from renewable sources. No matter what your car runs on now, diesel, or gasoline, there is a bio alternative available for it.
Bio fuels general produce less harmful emissions, and they don't use precious resources. They are not necessarily cheaper, although they will get cheaper, but they are much kinder to the planet.
Compressed gas, often called liquid petroleum gas or LPG. Whilst it is usually derived from fossil fuel, still burns a lot cleaner than liquid fuels. It is a low emission fuel, and often a lot cheaper. A car that burns gasoline can easily be converted to use this type of fuel. Once converted it will happily burn both liquid and compressed gas fuels or "dual fuel." This means you never have to be worried about running out of compressed gas if you are in an area where supplies are not easy to come by.
Hybrid vehicles are becoming more and more common. These vehicles run on both conventional fuel and electric, and have both kinds of motors in the engine bay. Even though they have an electric motor and a bank of batteries you never actually recharge them. The batteries are in fact charged from the turning motion of the wheels, and even collect energy when the car is slowing down through a process called regenerative braking.
Plug in hybrid:
This is the next generation of hybrid vehicles, they work exactly like the traditional hybrid above, but have the added option of being able to be plugged in to an electric power source overnight. A plug in hybrid runs as a pure electric vehicle longer than the equivalent hybrid car. This gives them pretty impressive fuel consumption figures.
This is the greenest option of all the alternative vehicles available. It runs on nothing but electric. You just plug in, charge, and go. They are zero emission, and cost a fraction of a traditional car to fuel up. They do tend to be expensive to buy, and even though they will pay back in fuel cost savings, and also tax savings in many areas, they still represent a hefty investment.
One option being taken by a few motorists is converting the car they have now into an electric vehicle (EV.) This is not as daunting a prospect as you may think, and with a kit or some good plans the average DIY mechanic should be able to successful undertake an electric vehicle conversion.