Driving Alternatives: What’s the Difference?

Fuel sources for engines were a problem for early automobile inventors. Steam was the power source of choice in the 1800's and made railroads the biggest game-changer of the century. This was fine for mass-transit between cities and for large cargo loads, but people still needed an individual way to transport themselves and their small cargo loads around town.  It was Nicolaus Otto who invented the first effective petroleum gas motor engine and Karl Benz who earned the first patent for a gas-fueled car in 1886. For the next 100 years automobiles would be designed largely around a gas-powered engine.


While the automotive industry was centered on petroleum-based fuels, research on alternative fuel sources continued.  Rudolf Diesel showed an engine at the 1900 World's Fair that ran on peanut oil, one of several fuel types he experimented with before settling on the fuel named after him, diesel, which is made from by-products created by the petroleum refining process. British inventor Thomas Parker was interested in electric vehicles at the same time Otto and Benz were working on their gas-powered engines; his interest was reportedly motivated by his concern of smoke-filled streets in London. Gas shortages in war times, World War II and Vietnam, created renewed interest in alternative energy sources. Late in the 20th century, the demand and technology came together to create enough interest to move the development of electric vehicles.


Today a variety of alternative energy sources are in varying states of research and development but the three main vehicle types on the road today are powered by gas, electricity, or a hybrid of the two. Coggin will take a closer look at the consideration and costs of EVs with traditional gas-fueled vehicles in the coming weeks to help you decide which is right for your upcoming purchase.

Do you drive an EV story to share or have questions you'd like us to address in our series? 
We want to be sure we address them.                 

Categories: New Inventory, Green, News