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Advantages and Disadvantages of Alternative Fuels

The following report will address and compare alternative fuels used to power motor vehicles as far as their advantages and disadvantages as well as how each affect our environment. The goal of this report is to find the most effective fuel that has less of a negative impact on the world’s environment in a whole. In addition, the alternative fuels that will be the topic of discussion are electric, hybrid, natural gas, hydrogen, fuel cell, clean diesel (low sulfur), biodiesel (B100), and ethanol (E85). Each of the mentioned fuels will be weighed out according to the amount of pollution they do and do not contribute to the atmosphere.

What fuel can we use that will not completely destroy our atmosphere, and or environment?  This report will discuss eight of the following alternative fuels we can use to power our cars, trucks, SUV and so forth.  The fuels that will be covered are electric, hybrid, natural gas, hydrogen, fuel cell, clean diesel (low sulfur), biodiesel (B100), and ethanol (E85.)  For the purpose of organization each fuel advantages and disadvantages will be designated its own paragraph.  The first fuel that will be covered is electric, than hybrid and so forth.


The advantages of an electric ran vehicle can be summed up in four words “Plug in and go!”  Being that they are operated purely on battery, they give out no emissions or other toxins usually associated with modes of transportation.  As far as being green and the lesser evil of most fuels, electric is the least damaging fuel to the environment.  In addition, when you purchase a new electric vehicle a kit to charge your battery is included.  Some of the disadvantages are that unlike a gas engine, it takes a lot longer to charge an electric car and it can be a hassle when making long road trips.  For numerous reasons such as, not every gas station is equipped with compatible equipment to fuel electric cars, if your car stalls from a low battery it is harder to transport electric, than a gallon of gas.  In addition, the price of electric fueled vehicles is quite expensive and the price to convert your mobile can range from $5,000-$10,000. Not to mention your electric bill.  (Wisler, 2009)


A hybrid is a car that uses two sources of fuel, some use gas combined with electric, solar or water.  The advantages of a hybrid are that since it is also using other sources of fuel it gives got less emissions than an engine solely using gasoline.  In addition, some hybrid cars you can get up to 50 per gallon.  This means on long drives or road trips you could drive well over 500 miles before you would need to stop and get gas.  Hybrid cars are also very affordable where some are priced brand new from just $12,000 and up.  Some of the disadvantages are that when a hybrid battery is drained or just stop working, it can cost around $5,000 to replace.  In addition, hybrids have a lighter body weight to compensate for its heavy engine where in case of an accident it can be extremely dangerous for the driver.  (Yap, 2008)

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