Alternative Fuels

Compressed Natural Gas

Compressed natural gas is natural gas that has been compressed under high pressures, typically 2000 to 3600 psi, held in a container. The gas expands when used as a fuel.

Natural gas powers more than 100,000 vehicles in the United States and apporximately 11.2 million vehicles worldwide.* Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) are a good choice for fleets which have high mileage, like buses and taxis, and are fueled at a certal location or operate within a lmited area. Advantages include domestic availability, widespread distribution infrastructure, low cost compared to gasoline and diesel, and clean burning features.

Natural Gas Vehicle Cost Calculator 



Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and all-electric vehicles (EVs) — also called electric drive vehicles collectively — use electricity either as their primary fuel or to improve the efficiency of conventional vehicle designs.

For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative and Advanced Vehicles page 



Biodiesel is a clean-burining alternative fuel, which comes from domestic, renewable sources like plant oils, animal fats, used cooking oil and even new sources like algae. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be mixed at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. Biodiesel blends can be used in most compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modifications. Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic and basically free of sulfur and aromatics.

In the future biodiesel may be used as a replacement for diesel.



Hydrogen is a colorless, highly flammable gaseous fuel used in fuel cell vehicles.

Fuel cell vehicles have the potential to radically change our transportation system. They are more efficient than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles and produce no harmful tailpipe exhaust—their only emission is water. Fuel cell vehicles and the hydrogen infrastructure to fuel them are in an early stage of development. The U.S. Department of Energy is leading government and industry efforts to make hydrogen-powered vehicles an affordable, environmentally friendly, and safe transportation option.



Also known as Ethyl Alcohol, Grain Alcohol, CH 3 CH 2 OH), ethanol can be produced chemically from ethylene or biologically from the fermentation of various sugars from carbohydrates found in agricultural crops and cellulosic residues from crops or wood. Used in the United States as a gasoline octane enhancer and oxygenate, it increases octane 2.5 to 3.0 numbers at 10% concentration. Ethanol also can be used in higher concentration in alternative fuel vehicles optimized for its use.



Propane is a gas whose molecules are composed of three carbon and eight hydrogen atoms. Propane is present in most natural gas in the United States, and is refined from crude petroleum. Propane contains about 2,500 Btu per standard cubic foot. Propane is the principal constituent in liquified petroleum gas (LPG).

There are more than 270,000 on-road propane autogas vehicles in the United States and more than 10 million worldwide. Many are used in fleets, including light- and heavy-duty trucks, buses, taxicabs, police cars, and rental and delivery vehicles.