Commercialization of Alternative Fuel Vehicles

This report examines the benefits and risks of various types of alternative fuel vehicles.
Commercialization of Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Commercialization of Alternative Fuel Vehicles
April 23, 2009 - PRLog -- In 2000, more than eight million vehicles around the world ran on alternative fuels such as electricity, natural gas, ethanol, propane, hydrogen, fuel cells – even solar and wind energy.

There is growing interest and support for alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), driven by concerns about sustainability, energy security, the environment, economics relating to oil, and geopolitical factors. Interest in alternative fuels is focused on transportation fuels, since 70% of petroleum is used in the transportation sector.

The major impetus for development of viable AFVs is environmental; conventional fuels spew our greenhouse gasses that cause pollution and contribute directly to global warming. Another driver relates to the skyrocketing costs for petroleum-derived fuels caused by shortages of oil in an era of growing energy consumption.

An alternative fuel is any material or substance - other than conventional fuel derived from petroleum - that can be used as a fuel.  The U.S. Department of Energy officially recognizes alcohols, compressed natural gas (CNG), electricity (stored in batteries or fuel cells), hydrogen, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and liquefied petroleum gas LPG or propane) as alternative fuels. Other alternative fuels include biodiesel, wood, vegetable oil, biomass, and peanut oil.

Alternative fuel vehicles offer numerous benefits. They produce lower emissions and fewer toxic contaminants than gasoline and diesel vehicles and thus have reduced impacts on air quality, global warming, the environment, and public health. They hold promise of economic benefits. While the capital cost of purchasing or converting a vehicle to an alternative fuel may be higher than for gasoline or diesel vehicles, the cost of fuel and maintenance may be lower over the vehicle’s lifetime. Since alternative fuels can usually be extracted and produced domestically, they help reduce dependence on imported oil and contribute to domestic economic growth. They are largely derived from renewable energy sources that provide greater energy efficiency and reduce dependence on finite sources of fossil fuels. In general, alternative fuels offer safety and environmental benefits compared to gasoline and diesel fuels.

However, there are barriers to the widespread adoption of AFVs. The lack of a fueling infrastructure is a major obstacle to the use of some alternative fuels. Some alternative fuels have safety risks and must be handled with caution. Hydrogen’s flammability is a major concern as it can ignite in low concentrations and leaks in transport and storage equipment could present public safety hazards. Moreover, while people are familiar with gasoline, handling alternative fuels will be new to consumers. Therefore, developers must optimize new fuel storage and delivery systems for safe everyday use, and consumers must become familiar with alternative fuels’ properties and risks.

Hybrid electric vehicles offer an alternative to conventional petroleum or diesel powered vehicles. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) fall into the advanced technology vehicle (ATV) category. They use technology other than a straight internal combustion engine, usually employing some type of battery electric technology.

This report examines the benefits and risks of various types of alternative fuel vehicles. It explains the various types of alternative fuels and their applications, and delves into the market potential and the economics each one. It looks at developments in specific countries, lists major players in the industry, and presents several comprehensive case studies. It presents a thorough review of the technological developments and assessment of the market opportunities that exist for alternative fuel vehicles.

About the Publisher: "Commercialization of Alternative Fuel Vehicles" is published by Energy Business Reports (, an energy industry think tank and leading source for energy industry information and research products.  View report details:

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Energy Business Reports publishes cutting-edge business research and analysis reports in the global energy industry including power, oil and gas, and renewables markets.
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