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Welcome to Uncle Mark's
Alternative Fueling Station!


What's New as of 25 September 2006


Inductive Charger for Electric Vehicle NGV-1 Connector for Natural Gas Vehicle

What are Alternative Fuels?

You've heard the expression, "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 petroleum prices are as low as they have been for most of the past few years, that may not seem like such a bad thing. However, looking toward the future, many people are becoming increasingly concerned about the hidden costs of petroleum dependency: that is, those that you pay for at the doctor's office or in your tax bill rather than at the fuel pump. Starting in the last decade of the 20th century, automakers and energy suppliers have increasingly been 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 mid-1990's, more and more vehicles have started to 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've owned trucks that run on natural gas since 1993, 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.) You have choices now that weren't practical just a few years ago.

What's on This Site?

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):

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This website went live on 3 July 1998, just before I drove Clean Across America And Back.