Alternative Fuel Vehicles

hybrid electric bus

This is the alternative fuel vehicles update page. My name is Mark and I am a Certified Master Technician and a former member of the society of automobile engineers. On this page we'll discus vehicles that are powered by anything other then straight gas.

I also have a special interest in this subject of alternate fuels and hold a now expired ASE certification in compressed natural gas powered vehicles. This report is compiled from automotive industry trade publications and is formatted in my own words.

The article is meant to update people of the almost silent progress of the alternative fuel programs that are sponsored by local and federal government agencies. I have also included links too a couple of great books I've read on the subject of freeing us from the dependency of foreign oil. These are 5 star rated books and should be considered if you are interested in this subject.

More than 9 million alternative fuel vehicles are on the road as reported by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers or the AAM. This includes hybrids, clean diesel and ethanol capable vehicles in the United States only.

This sounds like a large number, but compared to the United States total human population of more than 300 million and an all on the road vehicle population of around 230 million, the alternative fueled ones represent only about 4% of all automobiles on the road. These numbers should change as they gain popularity with deeper market penetration. The AAM reports about 2 million of the 17 million vehicles sold in the US will be alternative fuel vehicles by the end of the year.

Alternative Fuel Vehicles Marketplace

This equals a market penetration of about 12% of total sales. Alternative fuel vehicles are gaining traction in fleet markets as well. Extra government incentives are large part of the increased sales to fleet and government organizations.

One of the largest fleets in the United States is the New York City fleet. This fleet alone includes 1700 Toyota Prius and Ford Escape hybrids. The NYC city fleet also has purchased 500 E-85 Ford cars and explorer SUV’s that are supported by six re-fueling stations that pump the E 85 alternative fuel.

The neighboring state of New Jersey also has a large government owned fleet that has purchased 1300 alternate fuel CNG hybrid vehicles and they also have 35 Prius and Escape electric gas hybrids. The state of New Jersey is also a heavy user of Bio-diesel in their diesel burning heavy trucks and buses. The new wave is a bio diesel electric hybrid bus like the one pictured at the top. This combines two fast growing power train elements that can be used to move the public.

Different Fuels Advancing Quietly

Just taking the city of New York and the state of New Jersey, alternative fuel vehicles usage is becoming widespread. Both of these agencies have a mix of Toyota prius and Ford escape electric gas hybrid models.

In New York City the sanitation department operates the E85 Ford cars and explorers and has modified its re-fueling station to carry and pump ethanol.

The New York City Parks Department operates electric vehicles and Honda Civic GX CNG (compressed natural gas) hybrid vehicles. The state of New Jersey is continuing to provide tax credits for municipalities that participate in alternative fueled vehicle programs.

The township of Medford In the state of New Jersey which happens to be the town right next door to my home town has increased its use of bio diesel fueled school buses from 20% to 30% in just one year and plans to push the program even further.

This coupled with the 1300 hybrid compressed natural gas vehicles that burn both CNG and regular gas that the state has purchased will have a large impact on the emissions that the state produces in a year.

The state of New Jersey's slogan is welcome to the Garden State. If the states programs continue in the same direction, they will have definitely earned that title. What does this mean for you?

If the government uses and tests these vehicles across the country the vehicle manufactures will ramp up their efforts to improve these alternative fuel vehicles and prices will fall. This technology is still developing and in need of improvement but if the local and state governments pitch in the process will be accelerated.

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This is a link to the page that shares my views on the hybrid car design and deployment as a sales gimmick. Review my rantings about hybrid cars and alternative fuel vehicles.

I also have a blog with over a hundred posts about a wide range of automotive subjects. Here is a link to the alternative fuels section.

Another project I am working on is to convert a Toyota pick-up truck to electric batteries. This project is more work then I originally expected. But the benefits far out weigh the work (my opinion). Learn more about my first electric truck conversion.

Using hydrogen generating systems can also be considered an alternative fuel. I purchased the water for gas system and went to the HHO games in south Florida to learn more about it. Watch 2 independent videos and see what I think about the water4gas books.

This next link takes you to the homepage so you can learn more about me and this car questions website.