Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Natural Gas, Electric, and Ait Cars

Honda has been quietly making a couple thousand natural gas cars for a while now. Toyota is now thinking about getting back into it reports USA Today. (Read Story) This is an obvious response to consumers demanding more fuel efficient vehicles. This is a difficult proposition since there are very few places you can fill up a natural gas car. You can search for alternative fuel stations here. With a little consumer education this might catch on.

If you have natural gas at home you can have a home fueling station installed in you garage or driveway for $2000-$4000. Read more here and here. Natural gas vehicles burn much cleaner, and cost the equivalent of a little over $2 a gallon when compared to gasoline cars. Many municipalities are switching their garbage and other fleet vehicles to natural gas to save money and cut emissions.

Just imagine not having to fill up at the gas station anymore. Just fill it up at home when you return from work. You'll probably want to keep the gas guzzler for longer trips as the natural gas cars can only go about 200 miles on a tank. This is a great solution for that daily commute to work, and running local errands.

USA Today also reports that Chrysler will soon have plug in electric cars. (Read Story) Now if they would just add solar panels to the roof of these so that they could recharge while you drive or while it is parked in the hot sun all day then they might have something. Most parking lots don't have electric outlets to recharge your car with, although they are starting to appear.

Tata Motors, the car manufacturer in India, is soon to have a car that runs solely on compressed air. (Read Story) That mains zero pollutants. Just fill it up with the air hose at the gas station, or with a compressor at home. I imagine it will cost a lot more for air at the gas station if this happens.

Alternatives are coming whether the oil companies like it or not. They finally pushed the consumer over the line with $4 and $5 a gallon gas. They won't be able to keep these alternatives out of the consumers hands any longer.

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