Green Car Glossary
A guide to common green vehicle termsGet up to speed and make sense of green car jargon with the LendingTree Green Car Glossary, listed below.
Alternative FuelsAlternative fuels are fuels other than gasoline or diesel that are non-petroleum based. Alternative fuels, considered to be renewable with less harmful emissions, include ethanol, hydrogen and compressed natural gas.
BiofuelsBiofuels are renewable liquid fuels derived from plant matter. Unlike fossil fuels that are derived from organisms living millions of years ago, biofuels are produced from living — or recently living — material. Ethanol and biodiesel are common biofuels.
BiodieselBiodiesel is an alternative fuel derived from plant oils. Biodiesel is both renewable and biodegradable.
CAFE StandardsThe Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are U.S. regulations enacted in 1975 to help increase overall fuel efficiency. By these standards, every automaker is required to determine the average mileage of each vehicle it builds.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)An environmentally cleaner alternative to gasoline and diesel, CNG is made by compressing natural gas to less than 1% of its volume. In doing so, this process reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 20%.
E85E85 is an alternative fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline requiring less demand on natural resources than traditional fossil fuels.
Electric Vehicles (EVs)Electric vehicles use energy stored in a battery pack in combination with an electric motor. EVs require no fuel and release no exhaust fumes or emissions into the environment. The battery pack must be recharged from an electric power source.
EthanolEthanol, or ethyl alcohol, is made from plants. It is a high-octane, clean-burning alternative fuel that, when used with gasoline, can power vehicles while producing lowered emissions in the process.
Flex-fuel Vehicle (FFV)Flex-fuel vehicles accept, and are powered by, regular gasoline or an ethanol blend, such as E85 — a fuel blend consisting of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline requiring less demand on natural resources than traditional fossil fuels.
Fossil FuelsFossil fuels (such as oil and natural gas) are formed by the natural resources of buried dead organisms that lived millions of years ago. They produce a significant amount of energy yet they emit greenhouse gases which contribute largely to the global warming crisis. Because they take millions of years to form, fossil fuels are considered non-renewable fuels.
Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCEV)A fuel cell vehicle generates power by combining hydrogen fuel and oxygen to produce electricity. The only emission from this type of vehicle is water.
Hybrid VehiclesHybrid vehicles use a combination of two or more power sources designed to lower emissions and improve fuel economy. Hybrid cars commonly use fuel efficient gasoline engines in conjunction with battery-powered electric motors.
Renewable FuelsRenewable fuels are produced from resources that are current, available, and can be replenished, such as hydrogen and fuels made from plant matter. Fossil fuels, in contrast, are non-renewable fuels because they are derived from the natural resources of buried dead organisms that lived millions of years ago.
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