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Beyond Diesel: Biofuel, Electricity and Other Alternative Fuels

Alternative fuels sources are a hot topic for the news media as well as researchers as oil-based fuels such as gasoline and diesel become more scarce. Alternative fuel means anything that doesn't run soley on gasoline, and includes hybrid vehicles (that run on a combination of gasoline and other fuels), electric vehicles, natural gas fueled vehicles, and biofuel vehicles (vehicles that use a fuel made from corn or other organic sources). So, what are the renewable resources out there being tapped to power our automotive futures? San Diego is quickly adopting alternative fuel stations to facilitate this new car market - electric car charging stations are in most major shopping centers and CNG and other fuel stations are already here. Are you seeing any of these alternative fuel stations pop up in your neighborhood?

Alternative Fuel 101 | Convoy Auto Repair

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More and more automakers are exploring electricity as a way to power consumer vehicles. The Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Toyota’s plug-in Prius, and Ford’s plug-in C-Max are just a few of the options that are finding mainstream success in the United States as alternatively fueled cars. Electricity from your home or office is stored in on-board batteries that then power the car for a range that suits many consumer commutes well. Electricity can be created from several renewable resources such as river currents, solar energy, and wind power.

Biofuels also have a following in the United States. With a few changes, a typical diesel engine can be modified to run on Biodiesel, a fuel often created with used cooking oil. Biodiesel can also be made from corn oils and animal oils. Another biofuel used commonly today is Compressed Natural Gas. You may have seen the “CNG” signs on busses and trucks indicating that they run on this gas, which can be made from methane as well as oil byproducts.

If you pay attention to car news for long enough, you can see other ways that engineers and scientists are trying to reduce our reliance on oil in transportation. There are cars that are wind powered and cars that run on hydrogen fuels. These experimental vehicles are important for researchers, who hope to create a renewable fuel that can replace gasoline with little change to the engines we have in our vehicles today.

Located in the crux of electric and alternatively-fueled car craze, San Diego's Convoy Auto Repair is a qualified auto repair company familiar with the challenges of alternative fuel. Give us a call at (858) 560-9131 with any questions or to schedule an appointment to care for your alternative fuel vehicle.


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