Department of Energy

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The History of the Electric Car

Travel back in time with us as we explore the history of the electric vehicle.

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Vehicles, and the fuel it takes to power them, are an essential part of our American infrastructure and economy, moving people and goods across the country. 

From funding research into technologies that will save Americans money at the pump to increasing the fuel economy of gasoline-powered vehicles to encouraging the development and deployment of electric and alternative fuel vehicles, the Energy Department is committed to providing consumers with a full range of vehicle choices while decreasing our dependence on foreign oil and reducing impacts on the environment.

Energy 101: Electric Vehicles
Watch this video to learn about the benefits of electric vehicles -- including improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and lower maintenance costs.
U.S. Department of Energy
How Fuel Cell Vehicles Work

Fuel cell vehicles run on hydrogen gas rather than gasoline and emit only water. 

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Energy By The Numbers: Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles
Watch this video to learn key stats about fuel cell vehicles. 
U.S. Department of Energy

Tools

Find and Compare Cars
Link to Find and Compare Cars new
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Gas Mileage Tips
Our gas mileage tips can help you reduce the amount of gas you use.
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eGallon
The eGallon price is calculated using the most recently available state by state residential electricity prices. The state gasoline price above is either the statewide average retail price or a multi-state regional average price reported by EIA. The latest gasoline pricing data is available on EIA’s webpage. Find out more at www.energy.gov/eGallon.
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Featured Content

Electric Vehicle Benefits

Plug-in electric vehicles (also known as electric cars or EVs) are connected, fun, and practical. They can reduce emissions, improve energy...

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Video: SuperTruck Barreling Down the Road of Sustainability

Latest Energy 101 video shows how new technologies are making heavy duty trucks more fuel efficient and less expensive to operate.

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Road to Fuel Savings: GM Technology Ramps Up Engine Efficiency

Learn how a new compact technology in the 2014 Chevy Impala is having a big impact on the vehicle's fuel consumption.

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Electric Vehicle Stories

One of the biggest drivers of people purchasing a plug-in electric vehicle (also known as an electric car or EV) is hearing about it from a family...

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Internal Combustion Engine Basics
Internal combustion engines provide outstanding drivability and durability, with more than 250 million highway transportation vehicles in the Unite...
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Transportation Fact of the Week
2018 Transportation Fact of the Week listing
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Vehicles Success Stories