Alternative Fuel Resources

Each day U.S. drivers consume millions of barrels of petroleum to fuel their more than 250 million vehicles. CDCC supports the use of alternative fuels, including Biodiesel, Electricity, Ethanol (E85), Hydrogen, Natural Gas (CNG), and Propane (LPG) all as viable options to displace petroleum, improve air quality and help achieve energy independence. Alternative fuels can also save drivers money and strengthen our local economies.

CDCC strives to provide educational resources, tools and training on alternative fuels to public and private fleet managers and consumers. Click on a tab below and learn how you can green your fleet and move our nation towards energy independence.

Alternative Fuels Basics

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Electricity can be used to power plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), including both all-electric vehicles, also called battery-electric vehicles, as well as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. These vehicles can charge their batteries by drawing electricity directly from the grid and other off-board electrical power sources. In contrast, hybrid electric vehicles are fueled with liquid fuels, like gasoline, but use small batteries to recapture energy otherwise lost during braking (ultimately boosting fuel economy). PHEVs can use off-board electricity for power, which classifies them as a PEV, but can also use liquid fuels and operate similar to a HEV if necessary. Using electricity to power vehicles can have significant energy security and emissions benefits.

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Biodiesel is a domestically produced, renewable fuel that can be manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease for use in diesel vehicles or any equipment that operates on diesel fuel. Biodiesel’s physical properties are similar to those of petroleum diesel.

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Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from corn and other plant materials. Ethanol use is widespread, and more than 98% of gasoline in the U.S. contains some ethanol. The most common blend of ethanol is E10 (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline). Ethanol is also available as E85 (or flex fuel)—a high-level ethanol blend containing 51% to 83% ethanol, depending on geography and season—for use in flexible fuel vehicles. E15, another blend, is increasing its market presence. It is approved for use in model year 2001 and newer light-duty conventional gas vehicles.

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Hydrogen, when used in a fuel cell to provide electricity, is an emissions-free alternative fuel produced from diverse energy sources. Currently, drivers of light-duty fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) can fuel up at retail stations in less than 5 minutes and obtain a driving range of more than 300 miles. Research and commercial efforts are under way to expand the limited hydrogen fueling infrastructure and increase the production of FCEVs.

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natural gas fuels on 04a6be80

Natural gas, a domestically produced gaseous fuel, is readily available through the utility infrastructure. Whether produced via conventional or renewable methods, this clean-burning alternative fuel must be compressed or liquefied for use in vehicles.

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Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or propane autogas, has been used worldwide as a vehicle fuel for decades. It is stored as a liquid, and propane fueling infrastructure is widespread.

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Alternative Fuel Station Locator

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