Definition: Alternative-fuel vehicle
A vehicle designed to operate on an alternative fuel (e.g., compressed natural gas, methane blend, electricity). As defined by the Energy Policy Act, any dedicated, flexible-fuel, or dual-fuel vehicle designed to operate on at least one alternative fuel.
- An alternative fuel vehicle is a vehicle that runs on a fuel other than traditional petroleum fuels (petrol or Diesel fuel); and also refers to any technology of powering an engine that does not involve solely petroleum (e.g. electric car, hybrid electric vehicles, solar powered). Because of a combination of factors, such as environmental concerns, high oil prices and the potential for peak oil, development of cleaner alternative fuels and advanced power systems for vehicles has become a high priority for many governments and vehicle manufacturers around the world.Hybrid electric vehicles such as the Toyota Prius are not actually alternative fuel vehicles, but through advanced technologies in the electric battery and motor/generator, they make a more efficient use of petroleum fuel. Other research and development efforts in alternative forms of power focus on developing all-electric and fuel cell vehicles, and even the stored energy of compressed air.An environmental analysis extends beyond just the operating efficiency and emissions. A life-cycle assessment of a vehicle involves production and post-use considerations. A cradle-to-cradle design is more important than a focus on a single factor such as the type of fuel.
- Related Terms
- fuel cell