Car Care Tips

Alternative Fuel Vehicles in Appleton, Wisconsin


Let's talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our Wisconsin environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for Appleton very soon.

For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the Appleton area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn. The benefits to Appleton drivers are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower gas mileage and when gas prices are low, E85 can be more than straight gasoline.

Appleton drivers should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel engines have been around Wisconsin  for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable.

There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our Appleton roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It's less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home.

Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Appleton area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants.

That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our Wisconsin roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors.

A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that's assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver similar to their highway ratings.

A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It'll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries.

A quick word from Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Center Appleton about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your Appleton service technician at  Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Center Appleton is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle.

Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you're specifically trained on hybrid systems.

Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Center Appleton
2940 E. College Ave.
Appleton, Wisconsin 54915
920-954-8500

Latest Posts

Categories

Air Conditioning
Alignment
Automotive News
Battery
Brakes
Cabin Air Filter
Cooling System
Diagnostics
Differential Service
Drive Train
Exhaust
Fluids
Fuel Economy
Fuel System
Headlamps
Inspection
Maintenance
Monitoring System
Older Vehicles
Parts
Safety
Serpentine Belt
Service Intervals
Service Standards
Shocks & Struts
Steering
Suspension
Timing Belt
Tires and Wheels
Transmission
Windshield Wipers

Archives

November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014

your local Tuffy, please enter your zip code or city and state for the location nearest you.