Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florid...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Nov 15, 2020

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It’s been said for years that gasoline will at some point in the not too distant future end, although it seems we still have some more to go. So, preparing for the time we would have no more gas for our cars and also thinking about the environment, here are some alternative fuels that have been developed.

Hydrogen

Hydrogen can fuel two types of cars: fuel cell ones and vehicles that have an internal combustion engine that has been engineered to use hydrogen instead of gasoline. This is a very interesting source of alternative fuel, but a problem to current use being that there isn’t yet an infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations.

For the first type of cars, the hydrogen is used to generate electricity for the electric motors. It means that this car uses a fuel cell to generate its own electricity, in a process between hydrogen and oxygen, which are combined, the byproduct of this being water vapor. The Honda FCX Clarity uses this technology.

For the second type, the hydrogen combustion engine, the car uses an internal combustion engine just like a gasoline-powered car. Presently, many automakers are testing hydrogen vehicles, like the BMW Hydrogen 7, which is perhaps the most known.

Electricity

Even though it may sound like a modern technology, in fact, in the past, early automobiles used electric motors. What’s stopping automakers to spread these cars more today? Taking into account the fact that you might want your car to go at high speeds, this takes a lot of power, the process draining the electric car’s batteries quickly. Slowly, some automakers are overcoming even this obstacle. The new batteries (lithium-ion) charge quickly and the charges last longer. We already have cars like Tesla Roadster or the Chevy Volt that use these type of batteries in combination with an internal combustion engine, creating a new class of cars called an extended-range electric vehicle. These batteries can be charged by plugging your car into a regular wall outlet. When the battery power begins to fade while driving, an onboard gasoline generator switches on to recharge the batteries in order to keep the car functional.

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