Considering an Alternative Fuel Vehicle in Abingdon?

Posted October 9, 2015 5:00 AM

There is a clear and vocal demand in Abingdon and nationally for a reduction in air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. This is what is driving the Maryland market for alternative fuel vehicles. There are a number of these vehicles on Abingdon area roads today, and many more being developed. Yet each of these vehicles has its own advantages and disadvantages. Abingdon auto owners should learn what these advantages and disadvantages are before running out and purchasing one of these alternative fuel vehicles at your nearest Abingdon dealership.

Abingdon drivers should carefully research the vehicle care before buying an alternative fuel vehicle, as it may or may not coincide with the standards for gasoline vehicles. You should look at costs as well; these vehicles may help save our environment here in Abingdon, but that might not represent a savings to your wallet. You'll need to decide what you can afford and what will work for your lifestyle. Also, your choice of vehicle may be affected by what fuels are available in your area. Switching to an alternative fuel vehicle is not a bad decision, but it should be a carefully considered one.

Flex Fuel Vehicles
Flex fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Because of the 85% ethanol content, this fuel is commonly called E85 in Maryland.

Ethanol is made from corn. So flex fuel vehicles lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. But they also raise the price of corn, which is a basic foodstuff in some areas of the world. Whether replacing fossil fuels with corn is a good idea is hotly contested right now.

One piece of Buddys Auto auto advice before we move on: do not put E85 into your vehicle unless it has an engine designed for flex fuels. Because of the high ethanol content in E85, engines need special seals and gaskets to function properly on this fuel. Running an ordinary engine with E85 can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel
Diesel engines are nothing new on Maryland freeways, and many get great fuel economy. Diesel fuel can now be made from vegetable oil and other renewable sources. A diesel fuel made from algae will soon be on the market in the Abingdon area.

Natural Gas
Natural gas is less expensive than gasoline in Abingdon and burns more cleanly. Also, gasoline engines can be adapted to run on compressed natural gas, and many natural gas vehicles are already on Abingdon roads. You can even install a special pump in your home gas line to use to fuel your vehicle. If you are interested in converting your gasoline engine to run on CNG in Abingdon, ask your Buddys Auto service advisor about it.

On the other hand, an engine running on natural gas is not as powerful as one running on gasoline. Also, the tank you need to store natural gas is large—it takes up nearly the entire trunk of your car. Further, refueling stations are still few and far between in some Maryland areas, or even unavailable in many parts of the country.


Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles were all the rage in Maryland some years ago. But their limitations were quickly realized by Abingdon auto owners. These vehicles won't come into their own until we find ways to improve their batteries. Currently, many of these cars have a short range before their power runs out and can only be realistically used close to home. However, they are easy to recharge since they can be plugged in at home, and there are many researchers working on improving the battery technology in these vehicles. They may yet be the vehicles of the future.

Hybrids
Hybrids have been among the most successful alternative fuel vehicles here in Abingdon and throughout the county. A hybrid gets its name because it has both a gas or diesel engine and an electric motor.

There are two types of hybrids. The full-hybrid relies on the electric motor for power, but the gas (or diesel) engine generates power for the battery. Thus, while still consuming fossil fuels, it uses less of them than a standard vehicle and also reduces harmful pollutants. Also, it overcomes the range problem of the strictly electric vehicle.

In a mild hybrid, the electric motor assists the gas or diesel engine in powering the vehicle. Thus, it uses more gasoline or diesel than full hybrids and has higher emissions. But mild hybrids are available in larger body models like full-size pickups and SUV's.

A Note of Caution about Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
One last note before we leave the subject of alternative fuel vehicles. The battery in an electric or hybrid vehicle is not as tame as the one in a standard vehicle. They carry enough voltage to kill you. These are not do-it-yourself vehicles when it comes to preventive maintenance or car care. Only a trained technician should work under their hoods.

Buddys Auto
3711 Philadelphia Rd.
Abingdon, Maryland 21009
(410) 679- 6300



Search



Archive

December 2011 (15)
January 2012 (4)
February 2012 (4)
March 2012 (4)
April 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
June 2012 (4)
July 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
September 2012 (3)
October 2012 (3)
November 2012 (5)
December 2012 (4)
January 2013 (5)
February 2013 (3)
March 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
May 2013 (5)
June 2013 (4)
July 2013 (5)
August 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
October 2013 (4)
November 2013 (4)
December 2013 (5)
January 2014 (5)
February 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
April 2014 (5)
May 2014 (4)
June 2014 (4)
July 2014 (4)
August 2014 (5)
September 2014 (4)
October 2014 (5)
November 2014 (4)
December 2014 (5)
January 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
March 2015 (4)
April 2015 (5)
May 2015 (2)
June 2015 (7)
July 2015 (4)
August 2015 (5)
September 2015 (4)
October 2015 (5)
November 2015 (17)
December 2015 (3)
February 2016 (2)
March 2016 (4)
April 2016 (4)
May 2016 (5)
June 2016 (4)
July 2016 (4)
August 2016 (5)
September 2016 (4)
October 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
December 2016 (4)
January 2017 (5)
February 2017 (4)
March 2017 (4)
April 2017 (3)
May 2017 (5)
June 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
August 2017 (4)
September 2017 (3)
October 2017 (5)
November 2017 (4)
December 2017 (3)
January 2018 (5)
February 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
April 2018 (4)
May 2018 (4)
June 2018 (4)
July 2018 (5)
August 2018 (4)
September 2018 (5)
October 2018 (1)
March 2019 (4)
May 2019 (2)
June 2019 (5)
July 2019 (2)
August 2019 (2)
September 2019 (3)
October 2019 (5)
November 2019 (4)
December 2019 (5)
January 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
March 2020 (5)
May 2020 (2)
June 2020 (1)
July 2020 (1)
August 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
October 2020 (4)
November 2020 (5)
December 2020 (4)
January 2021 (6)
February 2021 (4)
March 2021 (4)
April 2021 (4)
May 2021 (1)

Categories

Air Conditioning (11)Alignment (15)Alternator (4)Auto Safety (6)Automotive News (7)Battery (14)Brakes (15)Cabin Air Filter (7)Check Engine Light (2)Cooling System (14)Customer Detective Work (1)Dashboard (3)Diagnostics (5)Diesel Maintenance (1)Differential Service (2)Drive Train (9)Emergency Items (1)Engine Air Filter (2)Exhaust (8)Fluids (16)Fuel Economy (8)Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down (2)Fuel System (45)Headlamps (4)Inspection (6)Keys to a long lasting vehicle (4)Maintenance (55)Monitoring System (3)Oil Change (3)Older Vehicles (4)Parts (9)Safe Driving (1)Safety (5)Serpentine Belt (3)Service Intervals (9)Service Standards (12)Shocks & Struts (7)Spark Plugs (1)Steering (10)Suspension (2)Timing Belt (8)Tire Rotation and Balancing (1)Tires (3)Tires and Wheels (41)Transmission (8)Warranty (1)What Customers Should Know (47)Wheel Bearings (1)Windshield Wipers (7)Winter Prep (2)