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Beyond the Barrel: The Race to Fuel the Future

Top Spots For Greener Driving

How Easy is Finding Alternative Fuel?

For those who want a more eco-conscious fuel than gasoline for their automobiles, there are plenty of options. The most commonly available are: B20 or biofuel; CNG, or compressed natural gas; E85 or ethanol; LPG or propane; electric; hydrogen; and LNG or liqueified natural gas. But how easy is it to refuel, especially when you're traveling?Well, it's definitely not as simple as refueling with plain old gasoline. According to the most recent count of stations* across the country, there are 162,35

For those who want a more eco-conscious fuel than gasoline for their automobiles, there are plenty of options. The most commonly available are: B20 or biofuel; CNG, or compressed natural gas; E85 or ethanol; LPG or propane; electric; hydrogen; and LNG or liqueified natural gas. But how easy is it to refuel, especially when you're traveling?

Well, it's definitely not as simple as refueling with plain old gasoline. According to the most recent count of stations* across the country, there are 162,350 gasoline stations nationwide. By comparison, there are just 6,568 alternative-fuel stations** across the country. On average, drivers can find a gas station every 23.36 square miles and alt-fuel stations every 1,496 square miles. That's a big difference and certainly something to keep in mind when considering a switch to an alt-fuel-only vehicle.

So where is it easiest around the country to find alt-fueling stations, and which kinds of fuel are most readily available? Click ahead to see the country's top 15 states for alt-fuel convenience.

Posted: April 15, 2010
By
Constance Parten

*National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report
**US Department of Energy

15. New York

State area: 54,555 sq. milesGasoline stations: 6,500Alt-fuel stations: 184B20: 13CNG: 99E85: 41Electric: 2Hydrogen: 9LNG: 0LPG: 17Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/296.49
Fergus O'Brien | Taxi | Getty Images

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/296.49
Total alt-fuel stations: 184
State area: 54,555 sq. miles

Station Breakdown:
B20: 13
CNG: 99
E85: 41
Electric: 2
Hydrogen: 9
LNG: 0
LPG: 17
Gasoline stations: 6,500

Source: US Department of Energy,
National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

14. Alabama

State area: 52,419 sq. milesGasoline stations: 6,300Alt-fuel stations: 189B20: 10CNG: 5 E85: 16Electric: 0Hydrogen: 0LNG: 0LPG: 158Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/277.35
VisionsofAmerica | Joe Sohm | Photodisc | Getty Images

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/277.35
State area: 52,419 sq. miles
Total alt-fuel stations: 189

Station Breakdown:
B20: 10
CNG: 5
E85: 16
Electric: 0
Hydrogen: 0
LNG: 0
LPG: 158
Gasoline stations: 6,300

Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

13. Ohio

State area: 44,825 sq. milesGasoline stations: 4,764Alt-fuel stations: 165B20: 21CNG: 10E85: 62Electric: 2Hydrogen: 1LNG: 0LPG: 69Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/271.66
Donovan Reese | Stone | Getty Images

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/271.66
State area: 44,825 sq. miles
Total alt-fuel stations: 165

Station Breakdown:
B20: 21
CNG: 10
E85: 62
Electric: 2
Hydrogen: 1
LNG: 0
LPG: 69
Gasoline stations: 4,764

Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

12. Maryland

State area: 12,407 sq. milesGasoline stations: 2,150Alt-fuel stations: 46B20: 9CNG: 5E85: 14Electric: 0Hydrogen: 0LNG: 0LPG: 18Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/269.72

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/269.72
State area: 12,407 sq. miles
Total alt-fuel stations: 46

Station Breakdown:
B20: 9
CNG: 5
E85: 14
Electric: 0
Hydrogen: 0
LNG: 0
LPG: 18
Gasoline stations: 2,150


Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

11. Minnesota

State area: 86,943 sq. milesGasoline stations: 3,125Alt-fuel stations: 384B20: 0CNG: 1E85: 354Electric: 2Hydrogen: 0LNG: 0LPG: 27Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/226.41
Anne Rippy | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/226.41
State area: 86,943 sq. miles
Total alt-fuel stations: 384

Station Breakdown:
B20: 0
CNG: 1
E85: 354
Electric: 2
Hydrogen: 0
LNG: 0
LPG: 27
Gasoline stations: 3,125

Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

10. North Carolina

State area: 53,865 sq. milesGasoline stations: 6,784Alt-fuel stations: 240B20: 145CNG: 16E85: 20Electric: 4Hydrogen: 0LNG: 0LPG: 54Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/224.43
Don Klumpp | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/224.43
State area: 53,865 sq. miles
Total alt-fuel stations: 240

Station Breakdown:
B20: 145
CNG: 16
E85: 20
Electric: 4
Hydrogen: 0
LNG: 0
LPG: 54
Gasoline stations: 6,784

Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

9. New Jersey

State area: 8,729 sq. milesGasoline stations: 3,178Alt-fuel stations: 39B20: 4CNG: 20E85: 3Electric: 2Hydrogen: 0LNG: 0LPG: 10Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/223.82
Cameron Davidson | Photograher's Choice | Getty Images

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/223.82
State area: 8,729 sq. miles
Total alt-fuel stations: 39

Station Breakdown:
B20: 4
CNG: 20
E85: 3
Electric: 2
Hydrogen: 0
LNG: 0
LPG: 10
Gasoline stations: 3,178

Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

8. South Carolina

State area: 32,020 sq. milesGasoline stations: 3,805Alt-fuel stations: 146B20: 30CNG: 3E85: 87Electric: 0Hydrogen: 2LNG: 0LPG: 20Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/219.31
Adam Jones | The Image Bank | Getty Images

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/219.31
State area: 32,020 sq. miles
Total alt-fuel stations: 146

Station Breakdown:
B20: 30
CNG: 3
E85: 87
Electric: 0
Hydrogen: 2
LNG: 0
LPG: 20
Gasoline stations: 3,805


Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

7. Indiana

State area: 36,418 sq. milesGasoline stations: 3,028Alt-fuel stations: 170B20: 7CNG: 8 E85: 112Electric: 0Hydrogen: 0LNG: 0LPG: 43Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 214.22
Thinkstock | Comstock Images | Getty Images

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 214.22
State area: 36,418 sq. miles
Alt-fuel stations: 170

Station Breakdown:
B20: 7
CNG: 8
E85: 112
Electric: 0
Hydrogen: 0
LNG: 0
LPG: 43
Gasoline stations: 3,028

Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

6. Massachusetts

State area: 10,555 sq. milesGasoline stations: 3,221Alt-fuel stations: 55B20: 6CNG: 21E85: 2Electric: 3 Hydrogen: 1LNG: 0LPG: 22Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/191.91
Hisham Ibrahim | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/191.91
State area: 10,555 sq. miles
Total alt-fuel stations: 55

Station Breakdown:
B20: 6
CNG: 21
E85: 2
Electric: 3
Hydrogen: 1
LNG: 0
LPG: 22
Gasoline stations: 3,221

Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

5. Connecticut

State area: 5,543 sq. milesGasoline stations: 1,520Alt-fuel stations: 29B20: 1CNG: 13E85: 1Electric: 0Hydrogen: 2LNG: 0LPG: 12Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/191.13
Porter Gifford | Liaison

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/191.13
State area: 5,543 sq. miles
Total alt-fuel stations: 29

Station Breakdown:
B20: 1
CNG: 13
E85: 1
Electric: 0
Hydrogen: 2
LNG: 0
LPG: 12
Gasoline stations: 1,520

Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

4. Illinois

State area: 57,918 sq. milesGasoline stations: 4,406Alt-fuel stations: 315B20: 5CNG: 25E85: 203Electric: 8Hydrogen: 1LNG: 0LPG: 73Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/183.86
Karen Bleier | AFP | Getty Images

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/183.86
State area: 57,918 sq. miles
Total alt-fuel stations: 315

Station Breakdown:
B20: 5
CNG: 25
E85: 203
Electric: 8
Hydrogen: 1
LNG: 0
LPG: 73
Gasoline stations: 4,406

Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

3. California

State area: 163,696 sq. milesGasoline stations: 10,400Alt-fuel stations: 965B20: 40 CNG: 202E85: 44Electric: 419Hydrogen: 22LNG: 27LPG: 211Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/169.63
Getty Images

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/169.63
State area: 163,696 sq. miles
Alt-fuel stations: 965

Station Breakdown:
B20: 40
CNG: 202
E85: 44
Electric: 419
Hydrogen: 22
LNG: 27
LPG: 211
Gasoline stations: 10,400


Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

2. Rhode Island

State area: 1,545 sq. milesGasoline stations: 401Alt-fuel stations: 12B20: 2CNG: 5E85: 0Electric: 0Hydrogen: 0LNG: 0LPG: 5Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/128.75
Getty Images

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/128.75
State area: 1,545 sq. miles
Alt-fuel stations: 12

Station Breakdown:
B20: 2
CNG: 5
E85: 0
Electric: 0
Hydrogen: 0
LNG: 0
LPG: 5
Gasoline stations: 401


Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

1. Washington, DC

DC area: 68.3 sq. milesGasoline stations: 114Alt-fuel stations: 7B20: 1CNG: 2E85: 3Electric: 0Hydrogen: 1LNG: 0LPG: 0Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/9.75
Jeff Spielman | Iconica | Getty Images

Alt-fuel stations/sq. mile: 1/9.75
DC area: 68.3 sq. miles
Alt-fuel stations: 7

Station Breakdown:
B20: 1
CNG: 2
E85: 3
Electric: 0
Hydrogen: 1
LNG: 0
LPG: 0
Gasoline stations: 114

Source: US Department of Energy, National Petroleum News Magazine's 2009 MarketFacts report

Beyond the Barrel

Beyond the Barrel

"Beyond the Barrel: The Race to Fuel the Future"