Ever since the 1970s when the price of the crude oil started affecting how much we were charged at the gas pump there have been people trying to convince the country to switch to alternative fuels that are much cheaper. Constant preaching to look for other ways continued with pretty much success and it wasn't until this century that they finally started researching alternate fuels. Below are some of the fuels that could be used but still are not in full swing even though they are available.
- Natural Gas – This is a much cheaper alternate fuel choice and it has actually been used in cars since the early 20th century. Of course there are not very many natural gas stations around the country and that makes it hard to get people to use it. If we were to use natural gas to fuel our cars we'd save 30% as opposed to oil. There also is a machine that you can actually fill a car up with natural gas right from your own pipeline at your home. This would cut the expense of gas by 50%.
- Propane – Is yet another very cheap fuel. In it's normal form it's a vapor and needs to be converted into a different form so it can be used as fuel. But when it is converted it has a high energy density and it allows vehicles that use it to get incredible mileage when it's used as a fuel. When used for cars it will usually be mixes with some small amounts of other gases. Much cheaper than the fossil fuel gas and can get far better than mileage.
- Methanol – This type of fuel is being used today in drag race cars and other vehicles that need high octane levels to give engines their optimum performance. However, the gas mileage with kind of fuel is just awful. It's a lot cheaper than the other fuels but it takes twice a much to run the vehicle the same distance as the other fuels mentioned.
- Ethanol – Or known in some places as grain alcohol. This was a very popular choice in the earlier days of cars, in fact they used it more that the gasoline we use today. In today's market though it is used more often as an additive for gas that will boost the gas and it's octane. When it comes to performance it is about the same as methanol but it's biggest advantage is that it can be made from a variety of different renewable sources.
- Vegetable Oil – This is probably the least expensive of all the different kinds of alternative fuels. It is also probably the cleanest of the all as well. When you make a fuel out of vegetables you end up with a far cleaner and nontoxic fuel as well as biodegradable. They can improve the gas mileage by 3% and it also reduces the nitrous oxides that make smog. The main disadvantage is that this kind of fuel will oxidize at very high temperatures and will turn solid in very cold temperatures.