Donate |

Guide to alternative fuels

Covering plug-in hybrids, EVs, diesel, CNG, and more

Last updated: June 2014

As America works to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, cars that don’t require gasoline are multiplying. There are an increasing number of electric and plug-in cars, as well as improved biofuel compatibility across the board. Plus, there is a handful of fuel-cell, hydrogen, and natural-gas powered cars rolling out, primarily to fleets and in limited regions. Many alternative-fuel vehicles come with some form of tax incentive to make prices more affordable.

We’ve driven almost every alt-fuel model on the market, and most significant models coming soon, so we can steer you to which ones can work as real-world transportation and which ones are more science fiction.

The hard truth is that none of these alternative fuels are as easy and capable as gasoline, but there are some appealing options, with the right lifestyle and infrastructure.

   

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Latest From Consumer Reports

SPACE HEATER REVIEWS
Look for speedy heating and smart safety featuresVideo Cold weather will be here before you know it, so check our reviews now.
Money
PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS
7 steps to take if Avis Car Rental overcharges youVideo Persistence pays when trying to get reimbursed by a company.
WINDOW REVIEWS
When to repair and when to replace your windowsVideo You might be able to save some of your old windows—and some money.
Cell phones & services Cats Electronics Smart phones Electronics & computers Apple Phones & mobile devices
SMART PHONE REVIEWS
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus gain on top Android modelsVideo But Apple's new phones can't match some Samsung and LG features.
HYBRID/EV REVIEWS
Driving the future with the BMW i8 plug-in hybridVideo It delivers stunning supercar looks with an almost Prius-like mission.
REFRIGERATOR REVIEWS
Kitchens: Best refrigerators for under $1,000Video These models combine value and performance and won't break the budget.

Connect

and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:

Cars

Cars New Car Price Report
Find out what the dealers don't want you to know! Get dealer pricing information on a new car with the New Car Price Report.

Order Your Report

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more