Learn more about the various alternative fuels below or visit the Alternative Fuel Data Center for additional information and resources.
Electricity can be used to power all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. These vehicles can draw electricity directly from the grid and other off-board electrical power sources and store it in batteries. Hybrid electric vehicles use electricity to boost fuel efficiency. Using electricity to power vehicles can have significant energy security and emissions benefits.
Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from corn and other plant materials. The use of ethanol is widespread, and approximately 97% of gasoline in the U.S. contains some ethanol. The most common blend of ethanol is E10 (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline). Ethanol is also available as E85 (or flex fuel)—a high-level ethanol blend containing 51%-83% ethanol depending on season and geography—for use in flexible fuel vehicles. E15 is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a blend of 10.5%-15% ethanol with gasoline. It is an approved ethanol blend for use in model year 2001 and newer light-duty conventional vehicles.
Hydrogen, when used to generate electricity through a fuel cell, is an emissions-free alternative fuel that can be produced from diverse domestic energy sources. Research and commercial efforts are under way to build the hydrogen fueling infrastructure and produce hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles that are practical for widespread use.
Natural gas, a domestically produced gaseous fuel, is readily available through the utility infrastructure. Whether produced via conventional or renewable methods, this clean-burning alternative fuel must be compressed or liquefied for use in vehicles.
Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or propane autogas, has been used worldwide as a vehicle fuel for decades. It is stored as a liquid, and propane fueling infrastructure is widespread.
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