Great Green Fuels

Sep 1, 2003
Outside Magazine

Kathy NiKeefe's VW Golf runs on recycled vegetable oil.

In Outside's September feature "Grease is the Word," we profile Charris Ford, a 33-year-old fuel pioneer from Telluride, Colorado, bent on powering the world's diesel engines on biodiesel, a concoction of vegetable oil, alcohol, and lye. While the gospel of biodiesel is spreading to cities across the nation (like Berkeley and Breckenridge, where fleets of biodiesel buses are used for public transportation), there are even more groundbreaking innovations in alternative auto fuels that you should know about.

Little-known facts:

  • It's possible to power a modified diesel engine with pure, recycled vegetable oil.
  • Many American-made vehicles (from companies like GMC, Ford, and Dodge) have flex-fuel engines, designed to run on ethanol.
  • A handful of hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles are already on the road in Los Angeles and Chicago—and they produce zero emissions.
  • Hybrid cars like the Honda Insight get superior gas mileage— up to 68 mpg.
Want to find out more? Check out our green fuel guide:

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