Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fueling the Alternative

This photo is from
The Department of Energy has produced a map showing alternative fueling stations across the country. Click HERE to interact with the map.  I found the map to be very enlightening.  As a Midwesterner, I have heard about ethanol and biodiesel as alternative fuels, but I was less familiar with things like propane and compressed natural gas for alternative fuels. I didn't realize that they were so widely available and presumably, being used in other parts of the county. For more information about alternative fuel vehicles check out the 2012 Clean Cities Vehicle Buyer's Guide.

When observing the alternative fuel map on a national scale there are some clear regional differences in the preferred alternative fuel.  For example, the Midwest has the largest concentration of ethanol stations while southern states seem to be more concentrated with liquified petroleum gas (propane) stations. 

Another interesting trend to observe is that while there is regional variation for most of the alternative fuels, the electric fuel alternative bucks this trend.  Instead of favoring a region, electric service stations seem to be less of a regional phenomenon and more concentrated in urban centers throughout the country.

When we zoom into Iowa we see that the state is dotted with E85-ethanol stations which is to be expected as a lot of this ethanol is probably produced with Iowa corn.  The stations selling other alternative fuel options including biodiesel, compressed natural gas, electric, liquified natural gas and propane are fewer and far between in Iowa.

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