The U.S. transportation sector accounts for 34 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and almost 75 percent of all U.S. oil use. By choosing an efficient or low-carbon fuel vehicle, Americans can reduce their carbon footprint while driving. These vehicles can also save consumers money , with long-term fuel savings outmatching higher upfront costs. EESI recently attended the 2012 Washington Auto Show to learn more about the numerous alternative fuel vehicles on display, and compiled a list of the various alternative fuel vehicles that were showcased there. Please note that EESI does not endorse these or any other vehicles and that some claims of the manufacturers have not been independently verified.

The 2012 Chevrolet Volt is one of the better known hybrid plug-in electric/gasoline vehicles currently on the market. After driving 35 miles, or once the electric battery is exhausted, the Volt immediately switches over to a gas-powered generator that runs the electric engine. The Volt can charge fully overnight on a standard home outlet (120 volts) for under $2 in electricity costs , and can be fully charged in four hours at a special 240 volt outlet. A clothes dryer typically uses a 240 volt outlet, and the outlet can be installed by a certified electrician. The Volt can drive 94 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) on electricity and 35 miles per gallon (MPG) on gasoline. The Volt won many awards in its debut year last year, and was the 2011 Car of the Year, the 2011 Auto Magazine Car of the Year, the 2011 Green Car of the Year, and the 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

The Toyota HFCV and the all electric 2013 Toyota Electric RAV-4 EV . Toyota aims to sell tens of thousands of hydrogen powered cars by 2020 , and Toyota recently unveiled a hydrogen-powered FCV-R concept car at a Geneva Auto Show. The Toyota HFCV emits only water vapors as emissions, can charge in less than 10 minutes on compressed hydrogen gas, and can run over 300 miles on one tank of hydrogen. The plug-in 2013 Toyota Electric RAV-4 EV will start production this year in partnership with Tesla Motors, and will travel up to 100 miles on a fully charged battery.