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More Alternative Fuel Vehicles Seen in U.S. in 2004

March 1, 2004

The number of vehicles in the United States that run on alternative fuels is expected to increase 7.3 percent this year from 2003, the government said on Feb. 27, 2004, according to Reuters. A total of 547,904 vehicles that run on natural gas, corn-based ethanol, electricity or liquefied petroleum gases will be on the road this year, up from 510,805 last year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. That's slower growth than the 8.4 increase from the 471,098 alternative-fueled vehicles in use from 2002 to 2003, said the Energy Department's analytical arm. The five states that had the most alternative-fueled vehicles last year were California (77,761), Texas (55,820), New York (37,559), Oklahoma (23,336) and Georgia (17,912). At the bottom of the list were Maine (417), Vermont (844), Rhode Island (936), West Virginia (1,098) and New Hampshire (1,218), EIA said. The agency's numbers do not include hybrid vehicles that are fueled by a combination of electricity and traditional gasoline. The Bush administration wants to provide more than $1 billion for research to develop cars and trucks that run on pollution-free hydrogen. The White House hopes the vehicles can be readily available to consumers at an affordable price near the year 2020. Environmentalists argue that is too long to wait, and instead want the government to boost vehicle mileage requirements to reduce U.S. dependence on oil imports.
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