Alternative fuel vehicles are vehicles that use energy that comes from something other than petroleum (oil). (Gasoline and diesel fuel come from petroleum). Most of the alternative energy does not need to be imported from other countries, so money stays in the country. Some (but not all) come from renewable sources. Many produce less pollution than gasoline or diesel.
Alternative fuel vehicles cover a wide range of engines and motors.
Electric vehicle – no pollution from the car, but there can be some pollution where the electricity is made
Natural gas vehicle – a fossil fuel, but burns much cleaner than gasoline, and there is more natural gas available than petroleum
Biodiesel vehicle – diesel fuel that comes from plant (or sometimes animal) oils
Ethanol vehicle – quite often ethanol is mixed with gasoline, from 10% to 85% ethanol (called E10 or E85)
Methanol vehicle – Methanol and ethanol are used in many of the fastest race cars
Butanol vehicle – similar to ethanol and methanol, this can be made from many biofuels, but is not commonly used
Hydrogen car – also called a fuel cell vehicle, or FCV
Compressed air vehicle – this technology works, but vehicles are still in the demonstration stage, and range can be a problem
Propane (or liquefied petroleum gas, LPG)
Also, there are bicycles, rickshaws, and two and three-wheeled human powered vehicles.
Single fuel source
The use of electricity as a power source for cars goes far beyond history of liquid fuels. The first electric cars were manufactured in the 1830’s, but they did not become popular until the 1880s. Until the 1920s, electric cars were more popular than the combustion engine developed in 1885.
In a typical electric car, electricity is stored in batteries that are charged from the mains power supply. The power transferred from the shafts to the electric motor is controlled by a speed control pedal and the electric motor rotates through the drive shafts or the electric motors can be integrated into the wheels. Electric gears do not require a gearbox, as typical electric motors have enough torque from the start of the lap. Instead, electric vehicles have a travel direction switch, which usually has at least four positions: free (N), normal driving (D), reverse (R) and parking (P).
The battery-based electric car is crushing simple on the flowchart level compared to internal combustion engines or hybrid cars. As a result, the failure sensitivity is much lower than in conventional cars. Also, its use is not polluted if the electricity used to charge is produced without pollution. Electricity produced by modern coal-fired power plants is also more environmentally friendly than the energy generated by a car’s petrol engine.
Unplanned battery technology has so far prevented the growth of electric cars, although developments have, of course, taken place over the years. In the mid-1990s, California experienced a massive increase in the use of electric cars with the aim of reducing exhaust emissions. In this case, several car manufacturers introduced models suitable for city cars. These cars were withdrawn from the market (and were withdrawn from consumers) after the California Climate Commission had decided to abandon the quota of zero-emission vehicles sold.
As oil prices rise, new cars are predicted. Battery technology has evolved in the 21st century and an earlier radius of less than 200 kilometers can reach up to 300 to 500 km radius. Battery charging times have also been shortened, with newer battery technologies, batteries can be quickly downloaded in less than half an hour to approximately three quarters of the full charge. The price of batteries is still a limiting factor: the electric car can either be given momentarily a lot of performance (street doors) or a reasonably long drive but with moderate power. Typical battery charging energy is a fraction of the amount of petrol or diesel fuel used.
Political support would allow the charging of electric cars to public places. In Sweden and Norway, Eco-cars are supported by free parking and tax-free travel. However, the introduction of the electric car does not depend on public charging stations or charging speeds, since the average daily driving range is now fully sufficient: at home, the car can be charged overnight and during a workplace from a plug. One solution to the limited operating range is to create a battery for a standard battery, allowing the battery to be replaced at a service station for a long time in a few minutes.
Engine Air Compressor
The air engine is an emission-free piston engine that uses compressed air as a source of energy. The first compressed air car was invented by a French engineer named Guy Nègre. The expansion of compressed air may be used to drive the pistons in a modified piston engine. Efficiency of operation is gained through the use of environmental heat at normal temperature to warm the otherwise cold expanded air from the storage tank. This non-adiabatic expansion has the potential to greatly increase the efficiency of the machine. The only exhaust is cold air (−15 °C), which could also be used to air condition the car. The source for air is a pressurized carbon-fiber tank. Air is delivered to the engine via a rather conventional injection system. Unique crank design within the engine increases the time during which the air charge is warmed from ambient sources and a two-stage process allows improved heat transfer rates.
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs), also known as all-electric vehicles (AEVs), are electric vehicles whose main energy storage is in the chemical energy of batteries. BEVs are the most common form of what is defined by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as zero emission vehicle (ZEV) because they produce no tailpipe emissions at the point of operation. The electrical energy carried on board a BEV to power the motors is obtained from a variety of battery chemistries arranged into battery packs. For additional range genset trailers or pusher trailers are sometimes used, forming a type of hybrid vehicle. Batteries used in electric vehicles include “flooded” lead-acid, absorbed glass mat, NiCd, nickel metal hydride, Li-ion, Li-poly and zinc-air batteries.
Attempts at building viable, modern battery-powered electric vehicles began in the 1950s with the introduction of the first modern (transistor controlled) electric car – the Henney Kilowatt, even though the concept was out in the market since 1890. Despite the poor sales of the early battery-powered vehicles, development of various battery-powered vehicles continued through the mid-1990s, with such models as the General Motors EV1 and the Toyota RAV4 EV.
Battery powered cars had primarily used lead-acid batteries and NiMH batteries. Lead-acid batteries’ recharge capacity is considerably reduced if they’re discharged beyond 75% on a regular basis, making them a less-than-ideal solution. NiMH batteries are a better choice, but are considerably more expensive than lead-acid. Lithium-ion battery powered vehicles such as the Venturi Fetish and the Tesla Roadster have recently demonstrated excellent performance and range, and nevertheless is used in most mass production models launched since December 2010.
A solar car is an electric vehicle powered by solar energy obtained from solar panels on the car. Solar panels cannot currently be used to directly supply a car with a suitable amount of power at this time, but they can be used to extend the range of electric vehicles. They are raced in competitions such as the World Solar Challenge and the North American Solar Challenge. These events are often sponsored by Government agencies such as the United States Department of Energy keen to promote the development of alternative energy technology such as solar cells and electric vehicles. Such challenges are often entered by universities to develop their students engineering and technological skills as well as motor vehicle manufacturers such as GM and Honda.
The North American Solar Challenge is a solar car race across North America. Originally called Sunrayce, organized and sponsored by General Motors in 1990, it was renamed American Solar Challenge in 2001, sponsored by the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Teams from universities in the United States and Canada compete in a long distance test of endurance as well as efficiency, driving thousands of miles on regular highways.
Nuna is the name of a series of manned solar powered vehicles that won the World solar challenge in Australia three times in a row, in 2001 (Nuna 1 or just Nuna), 2003 (Nuna 2) and 2005 (Nuna 3). The Nunas are built by students of the Delft University of Technology.
The World solar challenge is a solar powered car race over 3,021 kilometres (1,877 mi) through central Australia from Darwin to Adelaide. The race attracts teams from around the world, most of which are fielded by universities or corporations although some are fielded by high schools.
Trev (two-seater renewable energy vehicle) was designed by the staff and students at the University of South Australia. Trev was first displayed at the 2005 World Solar Challenge as the concept of a low-mass, efficient commuter car. With 3 wheels and a mass of about 300 kg, the prototype car had maximum speed of 120 km/h and acceleration of 0–100 km/h in about 10 seconds. The running cost of Trev is projected to be less than 1/10 of the running cost of a small petrol car.
Dimethyl ether fuel
Dimethyl ether (DME) is a promising fuel in diesel engines, petrol engines (30% DME / 70% LPG), and gas turbines owing to its high cetane number, which is 55, compared to diesel’s, which is 40–53. Only moderate modification are needed to convert a diesel engine to burn DME. The simplicity of this short carbon chain compound leads during combustion to very low emissions of particulate matter, NOx, CO. For these reasons as well as being sulfur-free, DME meets even the most stringent emission regulations in Europe (EURO5), U.S. (U.S. 2010), and Japan (2009 Japan). Mobil is using DME in their methanol to gasoline process.
DME is being developed as a synthetic second generation biofuel (BioDME), which can be manufactured from lignocellulosic biomass. Currently the EU is considering BioDME in its potential biofuel mix in 2030; the Volvo Group is the coordinator for the European Community Seventh Framework Programme project BioDME where Chemrec’s BioDME pilot plant based on black liquor gasification is nearing completion in Piteå, Sweden.
Ammonia fuelled vehicles
Ammonia is produced by combining gaseous hydrogen with nitrogen from the air. Large-scale ammonia production uses natural gas for the source of hydrogen. Ammonia was used during World War II to power buses in Belgium, and in engine and solar energy applications prior to 1900. Liquid ammonia also fuelled the Reaction Motors XLR99 rocket engine, that powered the X-15 hypersonic research aircraft. Although not as powerful as other fuels, it left no soot in the reusable rocket engine and its density approximately matches the density of the oxidizer, liquid oxygen, which simplified the aircraft’s design.
Ammonia has been proposed as a practical alternative to fossil fuel for internal combustion engines. The calorific value of ammonia is 22.5 MJ/kg (9690 BTU/lb), which is about half that of diesel. In a normal engine, in which the water vapour is not condensed, the calorific value of ammonia will be about 21% less than this figure. It can be used in existing engines with only minor modifications to carburettors/injectors.
If produced from coal, the CO2 can be readily sequestered (the combustion products are nitrogen and water).
Ammonia engines or ammonia motors, using ammonia as a working fluid, have been proposed and occasionally used. The principle is similar to that used in a fireless locomotive, but with ammonia as the working fluid, instead of steam or compressed air. Ammonia engines were used experimentally in the 19th century by Goldsworthy Gurney in the UK and in streetcars in New Orleans. In 1981 a Canadian company converted a 1981 Chevrolet Impala to operate using ammonia as fuel.
Ammonia and GreenNH3 is being used with success by developers in Canada, since it can run in spark ignited or diesel engines with minor modifications, also the only green fuel to power jet engines, and despite its toxicity is reckoned to be no more dangerous than petrol or LPG. It can be made from renewable electricity, and having half the density of petrol or diesel can be readily carried in sufficient quantities in vehicles. On complete combustion it has no emissions other than nitrogen and water vapour. The combustion chemical formula is 4 NH3 + 3 O2 → 2 N2 + 6 H2O, 75% water is the result.
Bioalcohol and ethanol
The first commercial vehicle that used ethanol as a fuel was the Ford Model T, produced from 1908 through 1927. It was fitted with a carburetor with adjustable jetting, allowing use of gasoline or ethanol, or a combination of both. Other car manufactures also provided engines for ethanol fuel use. In the United States, alcohol fuel was produced in corn-alcohol stills until Prohibition criminalized the production of alcohol in 1919. The use of alcohol as a fuel for internal combustion engines, either alone or in combination with other fuels, lapsed until the oil price shocks of the 1970s. Furthermore, additional attention was gained because of its possible environmental and long-term economical advantages over fossil fuel.
Both ethanol and methanol have been used as an automotive fuel. While both can be obtained from petroleum or natural gas, ethanol has attracted more attention because it is considered a renewable resource, easily obtained from sugar or starch in crops and other agricultural produce such as grain, sugarcane, sugar beets or even lactose. Since ethanol occurs in nature whenever yeast happens to find a sugar solution such as overripe fruit, most organisms have evolved some tolerance to ethanol, whereas methanol is toxic. Other experiments involve butanol, which can also be produced by fermentation of plants. Support for ethanol comes from the fact that it is a biomass fuel, which addresses climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, though these benefits are now highly debated, including the heated 2008 food vs fuel debate.
Most modern cars are designed to run on gasoline are capable of running with a blend from 10% up to 15% ethanol mixed into gasoline (E10-E15). With a small amount of redesign, gasoline-powered vehicles can run on ethanol concentrations as high as 85% (E85), the maximum set in the United States and Europe due to cold weather during the winter, or up to 100% (E100) in Brazil, with a warmer climate. Ethanol has close to 34% less energy per volume than gasoline, consequently fuel economy ratings with ethanol blends are significantly lower than with pure gasoline, but this lower energy content does not translate directly into a 34% reduction in mileage, because there are many other variables that affect the performance of a particular fuel in a particular engine, and also because ethanol has a higher octane rating which is beneficial to high compression ratio engines.
For this reason, for pure or high ethanol blends to be attractive for users, its price must be lower than gasoline to offset the lower fuel economy. As a rule of thumb, Brazilian consumers are frequently advised by the local media to use more alcohol than gasoline in their mix only when ethanol prices are 30% lower or more than gasoline, as ethanol price fluctuates heavily depending on the results and seasonal harvests of sugar cane and by region. In the US, and based on EPA tests for all 2006 E85 models, the average fuel economy for E85 vehicles was found 25.56% lower than unleaded gasoline. The EPA-rated mileage of current American flex-fuel vehicles could be considered when making price comparisons, though E85 has octane rating of about 104 and could be used as a substitute for premium gasoline. Regional retail E85 prices vary widely across the US, with more favorable prices in the Midwest region, where most corn is grown and ethanol produced. In August 2008 the US average spread between the price of E85 and gasoline was 16.9%, while in Indiana was 35%, 30% in Minnesota and Wisconsin, 19% in Maryland, 12 to 15% in California, and just 3% in Utah. Depending of the vehicle capabilities, the break even price of E85 usually has to be between 25 and 30% lower than gasoline.
The main benefit of Diesel combustion engines is that they have a 44% fuel burn efficiency; compared with just 25–30% in the best gasoline engines. In addition diesel fuel has slightly higher Energy Density by volume than gasoline. This makes Diesel engines capable of achieving much better fuel economy than gasoline vehicles.
Biodiesel (Fatty acid methyl ester), is commercially available in most oilseed-producing states in the United States. As of 2005, it is somewhat more expensive than fossil diesel, though it is still commonly produced in relatively small quantities (in comparison to petroleum products and ethanol). Many farmers who raise oilseeds use a biodiesel blend in tractors and equipment as a matter of policy, to foster production of biodiesel and raise public awareness. It is sometimes easier to find biodiesel in rural areas than in cities. Biodiesel has lower Energy Density than fossil diesel fuel, so biodiesel vehicles are not quite able to keep up with the fuel economy of a fossil fuelled diesel vehicle, if the diesel injection system is not reset for the new fuel. If the injection timing is changed to take account of the higher Cetane value of biodiesel, the difference in economy is negligible. Because biodiesel contains more oxygen than diesel or vegetable oil fuel, it produces the lowest emissions from diesel engines, and is lower in most emissions than gasoline engines. Biodiesel has a higher lubricity than mineral diesel and is an additive in European pump diesel for lubricity and emissions reduction.
Some Diesel-powered cars can run with minor modifications on 100% pure vegetable oils. Vegetable oils tend to thicken (or solidify if it is waste cooking oil), in cold weather conditions so vehicle modifications (a two tank system with diesel start/stop tank), are essential in order to heat the fuel prior to use under most circumstances. Heating to the temperature of engine coolant reduces fuel viscosity, to the range cited by injection system manufacturers, for systems prior to ‘common rail’ or ‘unit injection ( VW PD)’ systems. Waste vegetable oil, especially if it has been used for a long time, may become hydrogenated and have increased acidity. This can cause the thickening of fuel, gumming in the engine and acid damage of the fuel system. Biodiesel does not have this problem, because it is chemically processed to be PH neutral and lower viscosity. Modern low emission diesels (most often Euro -3 and -4 compliant), typical of the current production in the European industry, would require extensive modification of injector system, pumps and seals etc. due to the higher operating pressures, that are designed thinner (heated) mineral diesel than ever before, for atomisation, if they were to use pure vegetable oil as fuel. Vegetable oil fuel is not suitable for these vehicles as they are currently produced. This reduces the market as increasing numbers of new vehicles are not able to use it. However, the German Elsbett company has successfully produced single tank vegetable oil fuel systems for several decades, and has worked with Volkswagen on their TDI engines. This shows that it is technologically possible to use vegetable oil as a fuel in high efficiency / low emission diesel engines.
Greasestock is an event held yearly in Yorktown Heights, New York, and is one of the largest showcases of vehicles using waste oil as a biofuel in the United States.
Compressed Biogas may be used for Internal Combustion Engines after purification of the raw gas. The removal of H2O, H2S and particles can be seen as standard producing a gas which has the same quality as Compressed Natural Gas. The use of biogas is particularly interesting for climates where the waste heat of a biogas powered power plant cannot be used during the summer.
In the 1930s Tang Zhongming made an invention using abundant charcoal resources for Chinese auto market. The Charcoal-fuelled car was later used intensively in China, serving the army and conveyancer after the breakout of World War II.
Compressed natural gas (CNG)
High-pressure compressed natural gas, mainly composed of methane, that is used to fuel normal combustion engines instead of gasoline. Combustion of methane produces the least amount of CO2 of all fossil fuels. Gasoline cars can be retrofitted to CNG and become bifuel Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) as the gasoline tank is kept. The driver can switch between CNG and gasoline during operation. Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) are popular in regions or countries where natural gas is abundant. Widespread use began in the Po River Valley of Italy, and later became very popular in New Zealand by the eighties, though its use has declined.
CNG vehicles are common in South America, where these vehicles are mainly used as taxicabs in main cities of Argentina and Brazil. Normally, standard gasoline vehicles are retrofitted in specialized shops, which involve installing the gas cylinder in the trunk and the CNG injection system and electronics. The Brazilian GNV fleet is concentrated in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Pike Research reports that almost 90% of NGVs in Latin America have bi-fuel engines, allowing these vehicles to run on either gasoline or CNG.
In 2006 the Brazilian subsidiary of FIAT introduced the Fiat Siena Tetra fuel, a four-fuel car developed under Magneti Marelli of Fiat Brazil. This automobile can run on 100% ethanol (E100), E25 (Brazil’s normal ethanol gasoline blend), pure gasoline (not available in Brazil), and natural gas, and switches from the gasoline-ethanol blend to CNG automatically, depending on the power required by road conditions. Other existing option is to retrofit an ethanol flexible-fuel vehicle to add a natural gas tank and the corresponding injection system. Some taxicabs in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, run on this option, allowing the user to choose among three fuels (E25, E100 and CNG) according to current market prices at the pump. Vehicles with this adaptation are known in Brazil as “tri-fuel” cars.
HCNG or Hydrogen enriched Compressed Natural Gas for automobile use is premixed at the hydrogen station.
Formic acid is used by converting it first to hydrogen, and using that in a fuel cell. Formic acid is much easier to store than hydrogen.
A hydrogen car is an automobile which uses hydrogen as its primary source of power for locomotion. These cars generally use the hydrogen in one of two methods: combustion or fuel-cell conversion. In combustion, the hydrogen is “burned” in engines in fundamentally the same method as traditional gasoline cars. In fuel-cell conversion, the hydrogen is turned into electricity through fuel cells which then powers electric motors. With either method, the only byproduct from the spent hydrogen is water, however during combustion with air NOx can be produced.
Honda introduced its fuel cell vehicle in 1999 called the FCX and have since then introduced the second generation FCX Clarity. Limited marketing of the FCX Clarity, based on the 2007 concept model, began in June 2008 in the United States, and it was introduced in Japan in November 2008. The FCX Clarity was available in the U.S. only in Los Angeles Area, where 16 hydrogen filling stations are available, and until July 2009, only 10 drivers have leased the Clarity for US$600 a month. At the 2012 World Hydrogen Energy Conference, Daimler AG, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota all confirmed plans to produce hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for sale by 2015, with some types planned to enter the showroom in 2013. From 2008 to 2014, Honda leased a total of 45 FCX units in the US.
A small number of prototype hydrogen cars currently exist, and a significant amount of research is underway to make the technology more viable. The common internal combustion engine, usually fueled with gasoline (petrol) or diesel liquids, can be converted to run on gaseous hydrogen. However, the most efficient use of hydrogen involves the use of fuel cells and electric motors instead of a traditional engine. Hydrogen reacts with oxygen inside the fuel cells, which produces electricity to power the motors. One primary area of research is hydrogen storage, to try to increase the range of hydrogen vehicles while reducing the weight, energy consumption, and complexity of the storage systems. Two primary methods of storage are metal hydrides and compression. Some believe that hydrogen cars will never be economically viable and that the emphasis on this technology is a diversion from the development and popularization of more efficient hybrid cars and other alternative technologies.
A study by The Carbon Trust for the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change suggests that hydrogen technologies have the potential to deliver UK transport with near-zero emissions whilst reducing dependence on imported oil and curtailment of renewable generation. However, the technologies face very difficult challenges, in terms of cost, performance and policy.
Liquid nitrogen car
Liquid nitrogen (LN2) is a method of storing energy. Energy is used to liquefy air, and then LN2 is produced by evaporation, and distributed. LN2 is exposed to ambient heat in the car and the resulting nitrogen gas can be used to power a piston or turbine engine. The maximum amount of energy that can be extracted from LN2 is 213 Watt-hours per kg (W•h/kg) or 173 W•h per liter, in which a maximum of 70 W•h/kg can be utilized with an isothermal expansion process. Such a vehicle with a 350-liter (93 gallon) tank can achieve ranges similar to a gasoline powered vehicle with a 50-liter (13 gallon) tank. Theoretical future engines, using cascading topping cycles, can improve this to around 110 W•h/kg with a quasi-isothermal expansion process. The advantages are zero harmful emissions and superior energy densities compared to a Compressed-air vehicle as well as being able to refill the tank in a matter of minutes.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
Liquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been cooled to a point at which it becomes a cryogenic liquid. In this liquid state, natural gas is more than 2 times as dense as highly compressed CNG. LNG fuel systems function on any vehicle capable of burning natural gas. Unlike CNG, which is stored at high pressure (typically 3000 or 3600 psi) and then regulated to a lower pressure that the engine can accept, LNG is stored at low pressure (50 to 150 psi) and simply vaporized by a heat exchanger before entering the fuel metering devices to the engine. Because of its high energy density compared to CNG, it is very suitable for those interested in long ranges while running on natural gas.
In the United States, the LNG supply chain is the main thing that has held back this fuel source from growing rapidly. The LNG supply chain is very analogous to that of diesel or gasoline. First, pipeline natural gas is liquefied in large quantities, which is analogous to refining gasoline or diesel. Then, the LNG is transported via semi trailer to fuel stations where it is stored in bulk tanks until it is dispensed into a vehicle. CNG, on the other hand, requires expensive compression at each station to fill the high-pressure cylinder cascades.
LPG or liquefied petroleum gas is a low pressure liquefied gas mixture composed mainly of propane and butane which burns in conventional gasoline combustion engines with less CO2 than gasoline. Gasoline cars can be retrofitted to LPG aka Autogas and become bifuel vehicles as the gasoline tank stays. You can switch between LPG and gasoline during operation. Estimated 10 million vehicles running worldwide.
There are 17.473 million LPG powered vehicles worldwide as of December 2010, and the leading countries are Turkey (2.394 million vehicles), Poland (2.325 million), and South Korea (2.3 million). In the U.S., 190,000 on-road vehicles use propane, and 450,000 forklifts use it for power. Whereas it is banned in Pakistan(DEC 2013) as it is considered a risk to public safety by OGRA.
Hyundai Motor Company began sales of the Elantra LPI Hybrid in the South Korean domestic market in July 2009. The Elantra LPI (Liquefied Petroleum Injected) is the world’s first hybrid electric vehicle to be powered by an internal combustion engine built to run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a fuel.
A steam car is a car that has a steam engine. Wood, coal, ethanol, or others can be used as fuel. The fuel is burned in a boiler and the heat converts water into steam. When the water turns to steam, it expands. The expansion creates pressure. The pressure pushes the pistons back and forth. This turns the driveshaft to spin the wheels forward. It works like a coal-fueled steam train, or steam boat. The steam car was the next logical step in independent transport.
Steam cars take a long time to start, but some can reach speeds over 100 mph (161 km/h) eventually. The late model Doble Steam Cars could be brought to operational condition in less than 30 seconds, had high top speeds and fast acceleration, but were expensive to buy.
A steam engine uses external combustion, as opposed to internal combustion. Gasoline-powered cars are more efficient at about 25–28% efficiency. In theory, a combined cycle steam engine in which the burning material is first used to drive a gas turbine can produce 50% to 60% efficiency. However, practical examples of steam engined cars work at only around 5–8% efficiency.
The best known and best selling steam-powered car was the Stanley Steamer. It used a compact fire-tube boiler under the hood to power a simple two-piston engine which was connected directly to the rear axle. Before Henry Ford introduced monthly payment financing with great success, cars were typically purchased outright. This is why the Stanley was kept simple; to keep the purchase price affordable.
Steam produced in refrigeration also can be use by a turbine in other vehicle types to produce electricity, that can be employed in electric motors or stored in a battery.
Steam power can be combined with a standard oil-based engine to create a hybrid. Water is injected into the cylinder after the fuel is burned, when the piston is still superheated, often at temperatures of 1500 degrees or more. The water will instantly be vaporized into steam, taking advantage of the heat that would otherwise be wasted.
Wood gas can be used to power cars with ordinary internal combustion engines if a wood gasifier is attached. This was quite popular during World War II in several European and Asian countries because the war prevented easy and cost-effective access to oil.
Herb Hartman of Woodward, Iowa currently drives a wood powered Cadillac. He claims to have attached the gasifier to the Cadillac for just $700. Hartman claims, “A full hopper will go about fifty miles depending on how you drive it,” and he added that splitting the wood was “labor-intensive. That’s the big drawback.”
Source from Wikipedia