10 alternatives to the gasoline-powered engine

There's no shortage of greener ways to run a car. How viable they are is another story.

1. Gas-electric hybrids

reliable cars toyota prius

The first hybrid models, the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius (above) both reached the U.S. in 1999, and today some 40 gas-electric models are for sale. Using electricity to partially power vehicles has significant fuel economy and emissions benefits. Gas-electric hybrids use a battery to provide power at low speeds, or to handle stop/start. The battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine, and it need not be plugged in. While Toyota's (TM) popular Prius remains the best-selling hybrid -- more than 200,000 will be sold in 2013 -- their numbers now include supercars made by Ferrari and Porsche. The Porsche Panamera S hybrid has a 3.0 liter V6 engine and still gets 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated November 01 2013 08:20 AM ET
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