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Gasoline engines have the advantage over diesel in being lighter and able to work at higher rotational speeds and they are the usual choice for fitting in high-performance sports cars. Continuous development of gasoline engines for over a hundred years has produced improvements in efficiency and reduced pollution.

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The carburetor was used on nearly all road car engines until the 1980s but it was long realised better control of the fuel/air mixture could be achieved with fuel injection. Indirect fuel injection was first used in aircraft engines from 1909

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, in racing car engines from the 1930s, and road cars from the late 1950s.[16] Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) is now starting to appear in production vehicles such as the 2007 (Mark II) BMW Mini. Exhaust gases are also cleaned up by fitting a catalytic converter into the exhaust system.

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Clean air legislation in many of the car industries most important markets has made both catalysts and fuel injection virtually universal fittings. Most modern gasoline engines also are capable of running with up to 15% ethanol mixed into the gasoline – older vehicles may have seals and hoses that can be harmed by ethanol. With a small amount of redesign, gasoline-powered vehicles can run on ethanol concentrations as high as 85%. 100% ethanol is used in some parts of the world (such as Brazil), but vehicles must be started on pure gasoline and switched over to ethanol once the engine is running. Most gasoline engined cars can also run on LPG with the addition of an LPG tank for fuel storage and carburettor modifications to add an LPG mixer. LPG produces fewer toxic emissions and is a popular fuel for fork-lift trucks that have to operate inside buildings.

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The hydrogen powered FCHV (Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle) was developed by Toyota in 2005 Biofuels Main articles: Biofuel, Ethanol fuel, and biogasoline

Ethanol, other alcohol fuels (biobutanol) and biogasoline have widespread use an automotive fuel. Most alcohols have less energy per liter than gasoline and are usually blended with gasoline. Alcohols are used for a variety of reasons – to increase octane, to improve emissions, and as an alternative to petroleum based fuel, since they can be made from agricultural crops. Brazil’s ethanol program provides about 20% of the nation’s automotive fuel needs, as a result of the mandatory use of E25 blend of gasoline throughout the country, 3 million cars that operate on pure ethanol, and 6 million dual or flexible-fuel vehicles sold since 2003.[17] that run on any mix of ethanol and gasoline. The commercial success of ‘flex’ vehicles, as they are popularly known, have allowed sugarcane based ethanol fuel to achieve a 50% market share of the gasoline market by April 2008.[18][19][20]

Electric Main articles: Electric car, Hybrid vehicle, and Plug-in hybrid
The Henney Kilowatt, the first modern (transistor-controlled) electric car.
2007 Tesla electric powered Roadster
Tata/MDI OneCAT Air Car
A CNG powered high-floor Neoplan AN440A, run on Compressed Natural Gas

The first electric cars were built around 1832, well before internal combustion powered cars appeared.[21] For a period of time electrics were considered superior due to the silent nature of electric motors compared to the very loud noise of the gasoline engine. This advantage was removed with Hiram Percy Maxim’s invention of the muffler in 1897. Thereafter internal combustion powered cars had two critical advantages: 1) long range and 2) high specific energy (far lower weight of petrol fuel versus weight of batteries). The building of battery electric vehicles that could rival internal combustion models had to wait for the introduction of modern semiconductor controls and improved batteries. Because they can deliver a high torque at low revolutions electric cars do not require such a complex drive train and transmission as internal combustion powered cars. Some post-2000 electric car designs such as the Venturi Fétish are able to accelerate from 0-60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.0 seconds with a top speed around 130 mph (210 km/h). Others have a range of 250 miles (400 km) on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highway cycle requiring 3-1/2 hours to completely charge.[22] Equivalent fuel efficiency to internal combustion is not well defined but some press reports give it at around 135 miles per US gallon (1.74 L/100 km; 162 mpg-imp).

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