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Some New Cars Save Gas

photograph from Money story

(7/10/2006)

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Gasoline prices are getting higher and higher. Drivers have to pay more to fill their cars with gas. The prices make it hard for drivers to afford the fuel. Some drivers are looking for solutions. They want to find a way to solve this problem. Car makers are also looking for was to lower gas prices.

One auto group hosted a special event. The event was designed to display new kinds of cars. The new cars don’t run on gasoline. Their engines are different. They run on alternative fuels.

These new kinds of cars burn many different kinds of fuel. Some of these cars are called hybrids. Hybrids run on a combination of gasoline and electricity. Other cars run on natural gas. Another kind of car runs on a special fuel cell. The cell is filled with a gas called hydrogen. All of these cars use less gasoline. That makes them less expensive for people to drive.

The fuel cell cars are also better in another way. They give off no emissions. They are very clean, and don’t give off bad fumes when they run. Cars that run on gasoline give off harmful fumes. These fumes pollute the air. Air pollution is very bad for the environment.

One man who makes fuel cell cars is excited about hydrogen fuel cell technology. He says we will never run out of the source of the fuel, but we may run out of oil. Oil is a fossil fuel, and comes from deep in the ground. Once we use it up, it will take millions of years for more oil to form. Since gasoline is made from oil, that could be a problem for companies who make traditional cars, and for drivers. However, it won’t be a problem for cars that run on fuel cells.

Many people are happy that they will have an alternative to gasoline cars, but they worry about the cost of fuel cell cars. Right now they are very expensive. One man says that if he buys a fuel cell car, he will have to drive it thousands of miles before he breaks even. Manufacturers say that fuel cell cars won’t be affordable for about ten years.

The manufacturer says that fuel cell cars will save drivers money in another way. Drivers will have to spend less money on maintenance. There are no big moving parts in the engine. If something goes wrong, an owner can plug a laptop into to check it out. Most repairs will be made by computer programs instead of mechanics.

Buses that run on hydrogen fuel cell power are being tested on the roads. They could become a common form of transportation in the near future.

(This was adapted from an original story provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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