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More options emerge for alternative fuel vehicles

<p>Car manufacturers are providing drivers with even more alternative fuel options for the road.</p>
<p>The year 2015 ended with electronic vehicle (EV) sales higher than anticipated in the U.S. Sales data from&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" adhocenable="false">Inside EV</a>&nbsp;suggest that December finished with just over 13,600 EV sales; that&#39;s 600 more than for the same period in 2014. Despite 2015&#39;s uptick in sales, the full year closed out with 6,400 fewer EV purchases than the year before.</p>
<p>Even as sales seemed to slow down, 2016 is introducing more cards to the EV hand. In January, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) hosted a new prototype from Faraday Future that wants to put the &quot;super&quot; in &quot;supercar.&quot;&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" adhocenable="false">But this blazingly fast car, with 1,000 horsepower that can go from 0-60 in under three seconds, is barely a prototype that isn&#39;t planned to become a production model for the company</a>. Instead, Faraday Future is using the FFZERO1 to showcase the capabilities of its new, billion-dollar production facility in Nevada.</p>
<p>Chevrolet, meanwhile, announced the new Bolt, its first pure-electric model, which will be a more direct competitor for Nissan&#39;s own pure-electric Leaf. Chevy hopes the Bolt will appeal to a wider audience than the more expensive and luxurious electric sedans currently available.</p>
<p>Electric cars aren&#39;t the only options appearing at trade shows and dealer showrooms. Audi and Lexus showed off their new hydrogen-powered cars at the North American International Auto Show; Toyota&#39;s own hydrogen car, the Mirai (&quot;future&quot; in Japanese) garnered even more attention after an earlier showcase at CES. The Mirai offered leasing options at the end of 2015, and Honda said its own hydrogen fuel-cell-powered car would be ready before the end of 2016.</p>
<p>Ownership of hydrogen fuel cell cars currently remains low, with Toyota offering limited leases only in California at $499 for 36 months and a few northeastern states expecting releases in the first half of 2016.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" adhocenable="false">Toyota said it produced 700 cars in 2015, with 2,000 more planned for 2016</a>.</p>
<p>The allure of hydrogen fuel-cell-powered cars comes from the ease of filling one up, only taking 6 minutes for a complete refuel.&nbsp;However, California only has 10 hydrogen fueling stations, with new funding on the way to build a more robust infrastructure for hydrogen-powered cars. With the combination of more stations and the quick fill-up, the range anxieties that often stifle EV sales may prove to be less of a factor when it comes to hydrogen vehicle sales.</p>
<p>Indeed, charging and fueling infrastructure may ultimately be the key for hydrogen and electric cars to co-exist as viable options in a rapidly evolving automobile marketplace.</p>