You've heard the saying, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." Sound advice, right? But in the vital area of transportation, America (and most of the rest of the world) has ignored this bit of wisdom: the vast majority of transportation for people or goods is powered by petroleum products, i.e., gasoline or diesel fuel.
When oil prices were as low as they were during most of the 1990s, that may not have seemed like such a bad thing. However, looking toward the future, many people became increasingly concerned about the hidden costs of petroleum dependency: that is, costs that you pay for at the doctor's office or in your tax bill rather than at the fuel pump. And, of course, the rising price at the fuel pump over most of the last several years has started to get the attention of a lot more people! Starting in the last decade or so of the 20th century, automakers and energy suppliers began working together to bring to market vehicles that can reduce our petroleum dependency because they are powered by something else besides gasoline or diesel fuel; these "something elses" are referred to as alternative fuels.
Since the early 1990's, a variety of vehicles have become available for you to drive off a dealer's lot running on "something else." Far from being experimental or exotic, these cars and trucks are entirely practical transportation, ready for daily use; I owned trucks that run on natural gas from 1993 until 2007, and these were from major automakers with full factory warranties, not conversions of gasoline vehicles. (Of course, reputable "upfitters" have been converting gasoline and diesel cars and trucks to run on alternative fuels for many years, and have achieved a good record of safety and reliability--what's new is that now the Big Guys are getting in on the act too, with their economies of scale and huge dealer and service networks, which hasn't been the case since the dominance of gasoline vehicles was established in the early decades of the 20th century.) You have choices now that weren't practical just a few years ago.
The purpose of this website is to introduce you to some of the choices of fuels to power your car or truck, and to compare these alternative fuels with petroleum fuels and with each other. Here's an outline of the site (there's also a full site map on another page):
All content copyright 1998-2017 by Mark Looper, except as noted.
This website went live on 3 July 1998, just before I drove Clean Across America And Back.