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Green Vehicle Guide

Other Advanced Vehicles

In addition to EVs and PHEVs, there are several other advanced technology vehicles starting to enter the market.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Vehicles

public transit bus

CNG cars operate in a similar way to gasoline vehicles. The fuel—natural gas—is burned in an internal combustion engine to power the wheels. Like gasoline vehicles, you can refuel CNG vehicles at public stations. However, there are currently far fewer CNG stations than gasoline stations. Find public CNG stationsExit in your area. The number of miles a CNG vehicle can travel before being refueled, called the "driving range," may also be less than the distance your gasoline car can travel on one tank of gasoline. You can find the driving range for a CNG vehicle on the Fuel Economy and Environment Label ("window sticker") or on fueleconomy.gov.

Burning natural gas generally creates fewer smog-related tailpipe emission than burning gasoline. And since the carbon content of compressed natural gas is about 20% lower than gasoline, tailpipe greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are typically lower for CNG vehicles than for comparable gasoline vehicles. However, the GHG emissions associated with extracting, processing, and distributing natural gas may be higher than those associated with gasoline production and distribution, offsetting some of this benefit. Learn about GHG emissions data.

CNG is a gaseous fuel, primarily composed of methane.  Liquified natural gas (LNG) can also be used to power vehicles. LNG vehicles are starting to appear in the trucking market. Learn more about natural gas vehiclesExit.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV)

FCVs are similar to electric vehicles in that they use an electric motor to power the wheels. However, these vehicles use "fuel cells" to generate electricity on the vehicle itself, rather than being plugged in to charge a battery. In a fuel cell, hydrogen (H2) from the fuel tank is combined with oxygen from the air to generate electricity. Water is also produced in this process.

Like electric vehicles, FCVs have no smog-related or greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions. However, emissions may be created in the process of producing and transporting hydrogen fuel.  Learn about different ways to produce hydrogen fuelExit.

Currently, there are no fuel cell cars available for sale across the country. However, several automotive manufacturers have announced plans to introduce commercial vehicles in the next few years.

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