These Alternative Fuel Cars Won't Become Bricks Like A Tesla

tesla

Photo: Matt Rosoff/Business Insider

Earlier today we learned that Tesla’s cars can effectively turn into bricks if the battery becomes completely discharged. And the repair is not inexpensive; the fix will cost around $40,000 each time.This got us to thinking: what if you still want to have an alternative fuel car but do not want the risk of a pricey repair if the vehicle is sitting for a while?

Luckily, there are a number of alternative fuels, some mainstream and some more unique, that are available to power a vehicle.

Some of these will come from the factory ready to go while others may require some modifications to hit the road.

Diesel Power

Diesel is a common choice and perhaps one of the most convenient.

The fuel is available at nearly any gas station and these cars can achieve outstanding mileage scores.

In the past, diesel had a negative stigma for a bad smell and dirty emissions. The latest generation of diesel fuel gets rid of the black smoke and bad smells, but they still have a great noise and the prodigious amounts of torque.

EREV

An Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) is another way to ensure you will not be stranded.

From a political standpoint, the Volt is a very controversial vehicle. There is also a heady debate regarding the pricing of the car.

However, it can go up to 40 miles on a charge and will then turn on the engine. But in most cases, the engine is only charging the battery, not powering the wheels. The engine charges the battery. When the fuel runs out for the engine, just take it to a gas station and hit the road again.

It is entirely possible that some people will never need to put fuel into their Volts.

As a first generation of the technology, of course it will be more expensive and there will be doubters. But in the long run, the Volt might just be able to succeed.

EV

Yes, the Tesla Roadster is an EV.

However, 'bricking' is not a known fault with the Nissan Leaf or other EVs that are on the roads right now.

The Leaf works just fine for short runs around town to the grocery store or to grab friends at the airport.

Pricing for the Leaf comes in around $28,000 after the tax credits for electric cars are applied. And with more inexpensive battery technology than the Tesla, repair costs will not cost nearly $40,000.

Steam

Before you say anything, there are no steam cars being made today. And yes, the water takes a long time to come to a boil.

But a steam car uses one very renewable source of energy: water.

Fossil fuels are still required to heat up the boiler, but that can be easily replenished at any filling station.

Plus, a steam car is a very involved piece of machinery. There are many steps to making it run correctly and while driving there is a lot of multitasking to keep everything in optimal condition.

That makes the driver more connected to the car and the experience. It will also keep him off of that cell phone.

Grease Conversion

For those that want something a little different, diesel cars can now be converted to run on grease power.

The fuel of choice? Vegetable oil.

According to GreaseCar.com, a car fuelled with vegetable oil is not for everyone.

Diesel fuel is still needed to start the car and heat up the vegetable oil so it is viscous. That is why it is more ideal for drivers that are going a long distance instead of those that are constantly taking short journeys.

Filtering of the vegetable oil is important too, just to make sure that all the impurities are taken out.

Pedal Power

This is the easiest one. A bike keeps you in shape and is really easy to refuel.

Run out? Pull over for a sandwich.

And the more it is ridden, the stronger and more reliable the engine will become.

For long distance or poor weather, it is not ideal. But a sunny, short, trip means there is no better way to travel.

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