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There’s been a lot of talk lately about alternative fuel sources for cars. Reducing dependence on fossil fuels is becoming an increasingly prominent priority and a wide variety of new ways to power vehicles has emerged — from familiar alternatives like battery electric and ethanol, to quirkier innovations such as sunlight-absorbing car paint or gas from livestock waste. As it turns out, fossil fuels are hardly the only way to get you out of the garage.

However, according to a study by the National Petroleum Council for the U.S. Department of Energy, the conventional internal combustion engine and diesel fuel aren’t going anywhere any time soon. On August 1, the NPC issued a press release stating that clean diesel engines will be the dominant source of power for decades to come, especially for heavy-duty vehicles.

Diesel fuel is simply too economically and energy efficient and our transportation infrastructure is built to accommodate the simple and available function of the internal combustion engine. Plus, new technology has made it possible to run a vehicle on diesel fuel at nearly zero emissions. As a result, human health and pollution concerns associated with diesel combustion are no longer a pressing reason to turn to alternative fuels.

The alternative fuel technology is there — but it needs to advance in order to become a practical implementation. Biodiesel has potential, but manufacturing has a long way to go before it becomes an economical way to power vehicles. Similarly, hydrogen fuel cell technology requires the development of commercial distribution infrastructure before it becomes a viable option.

According to the NPC’s study, it’s going to be a very long time before the reign of fossil fuels in transportation sees a serious decline. Check out the full report here — it’s definitely worth a few minutes of your time! Let us know what you think!

Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.