History on alternative fuel cars

Check out our Alternative Fuels Data Center for information, maps, and tools related to all types of advanced vehicles. This interactive map is not viewable in your browser. Please view it in a modern browser. Alternative Fuel Station Locator. Loading alternative fueling station locator Find Fueling Stations in Your Area. Modern low emission diesels most often Euro -3 and -4 compliant , typical of the current production in the European industry, would require extensive modification of injector system, pumps and seals etc.

Vegetable oil fuel is not suitable for these vehicles as they are currently produced. This reduces the market as increasing numbers of new vehicles are not able to use it. However, the German Elsbett company has successfully produced single tank vegetable oil fuel systems for several decades, and has worked with Volkswagen on their TDI engines.

Greasestock is an event held yearly in Yorktown Heights, New York , and is one of the largest showcases of vehicles using waste oil as a biofuel in the United States. Compressed Biogas may be used for Internal Combustion Engines after purification of the raw gas. The use of biogas is particularly interesting for climates where the waste heat of a biogas powered power plant cannot be used during the summer. In the s Tang Zhongming made an invention using abundant charcoal resources for Chinese auto market.

Hydrogen - the Fuel of the Future?

The Charcoal-fuelled car was later used intensively in China, serving the army and conveyancer after the breakout of World War II. High-pressure compressed natural gas , mainly composed of methane, that is used to fuel normal combustion engines instead of gasoline. Combustion of methane produces the least amount of CO 2 of all fossil fuels.

The driver can switch between CNG and gasoline during operation. Natural gas vehicles NGVs are popular in regions or countries where natural gas is abundant. Widespread use began in the Po River Valley of Italy , and later became very popular in New Zealand by the eighties, though its use has declined. CNG vehicles are common in South America, where these vehicles are mainly used as taxicabs in main cities of Argentina and Brazil. Normally, standard gasoline vehicles are retrofitted in specialized shops, which involve installing the gas cylinder in the trunk and the CNG injection system and electronics.

History of Car Gasoline - Car Fuel Technology

Vehicles with this adaptation are known in Brazil as "tri-fuel" cars. Formic acid is used by converting it first to hydrogen, and using that in a hydrogen fuel cell. It can also be used directly in formic acid fuel cells. Formic acid is much easier to store than hydrogen. A hydrogen car is an automobile which uses hydrogen as its primary source of power for locomotion.

Vehicles have changed a lot. Their fuel? Not so much.

These cars generally use the hydrogen in one of two methods: combustion or fuel-cell conversion. In combustion, the hydrogen is "burned" in engines in fundamentally the same method as traditional gasoline cars. In fuel-cell conversion, the hydrogen is turned into electricity through fuel cells which then powers electric motors.

With either method, the only byproduct from the spent hydrogen is water, however during combustion with air NOx can be produced. At the World Hydrogen Energy Conference , Daimler AG, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota all confirmed plans to produce hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for sale by , with some types planned to enter the showroom in A small number of prototype hydrogen cars currently exist, and a significant amount of research is underway to make the technology more viable. The common internal combustion engine , usually fueled with gasoline petrol or diesel liquids, can be converted to run on gaseous hydrogen.

However, the most efficient use of hydrogen involves the use of fuel cells and electric motors instead of a traditional engine. Hydrogen reacts with oxygen inside the fuel cells, which produces electricity to power the motors. One primary area of research is hydrogen storage , to try to increase the range of hydrogen vehicles while reducing the weight, energy consumption , and complexity of the storage systems.

Two primary methods of storage are metal hydrides and compression. Some believe that hydrogen cars will never be economically viable and that the emphasis on this technology is a diversion from the development and popularization of more efficient hybrid cars and other alternative technologies. A study by The Carbon Trust for the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change suggests that hydrogen technologies have the potential to deliver UK transport with near-zero emissions whilst reducing dependence on imported oil and curtailment of renewable generation.

However, the technologies face very difficult challenges, in terms of cost, performance and policy. Buses , trains , PHB bicycles , canal boats , cargo bikes , golf carts , motorcycles , wheelchairs , ships , airplanes, submarines , and rockets can already run on hydrogen, in various forms.

Company Milestones

A working toy model car runs on solar power , using a regenerative fuel cell to store energy in the form of hydrogen and oxygen gas. It can then convert the fuel back into water to release the solar energy. BMW's Clean Energy internal combustion hydrogen car has more power and is faster than hydrogen fuel cell electric cars.

A limited series production of the 7 Series Saloon was announced as commencing at the end of Mazda has developed Wankel engines to burn hydrogen. The Wankel uses a rotary principle of operation, so the hydrogen burns in a different part of the engine from the intake. This reduces pre-detonation, a problem with hydrogen fueled piston engines.

The other major car companies like Daimler, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Ford and General Motors, are investing in hydrogen fuel cells instead. In addition, transit agencies across the globe are running prototype fuel cell buses. Deliveries to retail customers began in California in October A total of 57 units were delivered between October and November The market launch in Europe is slated for September Liquid nitrogen LN2 is a method of storing energy. Energy is used to liquefy air, and then LN2 is produced by evaporation, and distributed.

LN2 is exposed to ambient heat in the car and the resulting nitrogen gas can be used to power a piston or turbine engine. Such a vehicle with a liter 93 gallon tank can achieve ranges similar to a gasoline powered vehicle with a liter 13 gallon tank. The advantages are zero harmful emissions and superior energy densities compared to a Compressed-air vehicle as well as being able to refill the tank in a matter of minutes.

Liquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been cooled to a point at which it becomes a cryogenic liquid. In this liquid state, natural gas is more than 2 times as dense as highly compressed CNG.


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LNG fuel systems function on any vehicle capable of burning natural gas. Unlike CNG, which is stored at high pressure typically or psi and then regulated to a lower pressure that the engine can accept, LNG is stored at low pressure 50 to psi and simply vaporized by a heat exchanger before entering the fuel metering devices to the engine. Because of its high energy density compared to CNG, it is very suitable for those interested in long ranges while running on natural gas.

In the United States, the LNG supply chain is the main thing that has held back this fuel source from growing rapidly. The LNG supply chain is very analogous to that of diesel or gasoline. First, pipeline natural gas is liquefied in large quantities, which is analogous to refining gasoline or diesel. Then, the LNG is transported via semi trailer to fuel stations where it is stored in bulk tanks until it is dispensed into a vehicle.

CNG, on the other hand, requires expensive compression at each station to fill the high-pressure cylinder cascades. LPG or liquefied petroleum gas is a low pressure liquefied gas mixture composed mainly of propane and butane which burns in conventional gasoline combustion engines with less CO 2 than gasoline.

Gasoline cars can be retrofitted to LPG aka Autogas and become bifuel vehicles as the gasoline tank stays. You can switch between LPG and gasoline during operation. Estimated 10 million vehicles running worldwide. There are The Elantra LPI Liquefied Petroleum Injected is the world's first hybrid electric vehicle to be powered by an internal combustion engine built to run on liquefied petroleum gas LPG as a fuel. A steam car is a car that has a steam engine. Wood, coal, ethanol , or others can be used as fuel. The fuel is burned in a boiler and the heat converts water into steam.

When the water turns to steam, it expands. The expansion creates pressure. The pressure pushes the pistons back and forth. This turns the driveshaft to spin the wheels forward. It works like a coal-fueled steam train , or steam boat. The steam car was the next logical step in independent transport.

Vehicles have changed a lot. Their fuel? Not so much.

The late model Doble Steam Cars could be brought to operational condition in less than 30 seconds, had high top speeds and fast acceleration, but were expensive to buy. A steam engine uses external combustion , as opposed to internal combustion. The best known and best selling steam-powered car was the Stanley Steamer. It used a compact fire-tube boiler under the hood to power a simple two-piston engine which was connected directly to the rear axle. Before Henry Ford introduced monthly payment financing with great success, cars were typically purchased outright.

This is why the Stanley was kept simple; to keep the purchase price affordable. Steam produced in refrigeration also can be use by a turbine in other vehicle types to produce electricity, that can be employed in electric motors or stored in a battery. Steam power can be combined with a standard oil-based engine to create a hybrid.