Alternative-fuel vehicles are the heroes of this odyssey…on this day

Drivetrain of vehicle powered by alternative fuel (AP Images)
Drivetrain of the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid, at the Los Angeles Auto Show (AP Images)

What could be better than powering your car with the most abundant element on the planet? What if that resource also produced much less pollution than gasoline or diesel?

It sounds too good to be true, but it’s real. And it’s why U.S. automakers are researching hydrogen as an alternative fuel. Alternatives like biofuels, natural gas, hydrogen and electric plug-ins are helping build a cleaner future. They also can help make a country more energy-independent.

Hydrogen fuel is so clean that the only thing that comes out of a car’s tailpipe is water vapor.

Man putting alternative fuel in his vehicle (AP Images)
A man refuels a hydrogen-powered vehicle at a station. (AP Images)

While some alternative fuels like propane are already widely used, most aren’t ready for widespread use. That’s because developing alternative fuels and advanced-technology vehicles can be expensive. What’s more, many people aren’t aware of the benefits provided by this technology.

That is changing, thanks in part to the National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey, or just “Odyssey” for short.

Odyssey is a celebration of alternative-fuel and advanced-technology vehicles. It increases awareness and debunks myths surrounding alternative fuels through hands-on activities at more than 150 locations around the United States. Odyssey was started in 2012 and takes place every two years. This year’s events on October 17 expect to draw more than 200,000 people across the country.