Fact #814: January 27, 2014 More Choices when Buying Vehicles that Use Advanced Technology and Alternative Fuels

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The number of models and types of alternative fuel vehicles produced by manufacturers has varied considerably over the last 22 years. In 1991, there were a total of 19 models available that did not run on gasoline, 17 of which were diesel. In 2011 the number of models began to surge, rising to 175 models by 2013 and representing seven different fuel types. It is interesting to note that there were a number of both electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) models in the late 1990s to early 2000s and they all but disappeared by 2007. Both have been making a comeback. Many of the early electric and CNG models were only available to fleets and not for sale to the general public. Hybrids and E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) flex-fuel vehicles accounted for the majority of new models available since 2010, although diesel and propane models contributed as well.

Number of Vehicle Models that Run on Fuels Other than Gasoline*, 1991-2013
Graph showing the number of vehicle models that run on fuels other than gasoline for the years 1991 to 2013. Other fuel sources include hydrogen, methanol, propane, hybrid, electric vehicle, diesel, CNG, and E85. See table below for more detailed information.

*Hybrid vehicles, which are included in this figure, use gasoline as a fuel source but are included as a type of advanced technology vehicle.

Note: Electric vehicles include plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, but do not include Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, Low Speed Electric Vehicles, or two-wheeled electric vehicles. Only full-sized vehicles sold in the U.S. and capable of 60 mph are counted.

Supporting Information

Number of Vehicle Models that Run on Fuels Other than Gasoline*, 1991-2013
Model Year E85 CNG (Dedicated and
Bi-Fuel)
Diesel Electric Vehicle Hybrid Propane (Dedicated and
Bi-Fuel)
Hydrogen Methanol (M85) Total
1991 0 0 17 0 0 0 - 2 19
1992 1 2 14 0 0 0 - 2 19
1993 1 2 5 0 0 0 - 4 12
1994 1 2 12 0 0 0 - 2 17
1995 0 10 13 1 0 0 - 2 26
1996 1 10 12 0 0 0 - 1 24
1997 1 9 11 3 0 3 - 1 28
1998 2 12 11 8 0 3 - - 36
1999 6 16 7 16 0 5 - - 50
2000 8 15 3 12 2 2 - - 42
2001 11 16 3 10 2 5 - - 47
2002 16 18 4 6 3 5 - - 52
2003 22 16 4 5 3 1 - - 51
2004 19 16 7 1 3 1 - - 47
2005 24 5 8 0 8 0 - - 45
2006 22 5 6 0 8 0 - - 41
2007 31 1 7 0 11 0 - - 50
2008 31 1 6 1 16 1 - - 56
2009 36 1 12 1 19 1 - - 70
2010 34 1 14 1 20 0 0 - 70
2011 72 1 16 2 29 0 0 - 120
2012 62 6 17 6 31 1 1 - 124
2013 84 11 20 15 38 6 1 - 175
Data Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Alternative Fuels Data Center.

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