Biodiesel and Flex Fuel Engines
Even if hydrogen based fuel engines become more available, it will still be some time before they become available to a large number of consumers. At the same time, we must all work hard to manage the ever rising cost of transportation. One of the most common stop-gap routes involves the usage of biodiesel and alternative fuels. Unfortunately, you will need to make sure that your vehicle can utilize these kinds of fuels.
Buying a Car That Uses Flex Fuels
Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire a vehicle that uses biodiesel and flex fuels. Typically, all you will need to do is examine the VIN number. Most manufacturers will append an FX at the end of the VIN to designate a flex fuel engine. That said, if you are not sure, it is best to ask the car dealer.
In some cases, you may also be able to order a flex fuel engine for a new car. While this may be a bit more expensive, you may consider it worth your while. Among other things, this may make it easier to obtain a bank loan. You may also find that you can get a tax rebate for purchasing a vehicle with this kind of engine.
While you won't see much in the way of improved gas mileage with a flex fuel engine, it does have some other benefits. In particular, as ethanol and other plant based fuels take the place of petroleum products, you may not need to replace your vehicle in order to compensate. Unfortunately, now is the worst time possible to purchase a new car with an engine that uses only regular gasoline, or a low percentage ethanol blend. That said, you may still want to hold off on buying a flex fuel vehicle and see if a hydrogen based engines will become more available in the next year or two.
As may be expected, newly emerging engine and fuel technologies make it difficult to determine which car is best for long term value. Among other things, even if you do not plan on keeping your car for 10 years, you may still need to think about trade in, or residual value. The last thing you will want to do is purchase a new vehicle that will become obsolete in the next four years.
With the exception of hydrogen fuels, it is likely that a flex fuel engine will be able to utilize most of the newer fuels. At the same time, it is important to keep your eye on other emerging technologies. This includes studying the hybrid market, as well as electric cars and vehicles with hydrogen engines.
In some cases, you may conclude that it is better to simply buy a second hand car, and hold off on the purchase of a new vehicle for the next two years. Aside from giving you an opportunity to study new transportation technologies, you will save an enormous amount of money on car insurance and car loan interest rates. During this interval, you may even find that public transportation and other technologies make it easier for you to achieve your goals without the need for an automobile.
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