Finding Fuels: An Alternative Fuel Mapping System


A few weeks ago, we drove to New York with Andy, the designer of the MiniHome, in his lovely diesel Volkswagen Beetle. In the three years he had owned it, Andy has never put straight dirty diesel in it, swearing that it runs better and needs less maintenance on a straight bio diet. One has to plan ahead- there are not too many biodiesel stations around and the pickings were thin. We had a lead on a station in Troy; we got there and found that they sell it for heating but not for automotive. We found another in the Bronx; it was closed. In the end, Andy had to fill up with straight diesel for the ride home.

Now there is a new resource from MapMuse, a sort of wiki map idea where alternative fuel types can plot stations, pictures and comments- the community of biodiesel or ethanol enthusiasts can build a map that we sure hope gets to be more effective than the map we used to plan our trip. They still don't show anything between the border at Buffalo and New York City, and we hope they do soon. ::mapmuse for Biodiesel or ::Mapmuse for Ethanol

UPDATE: Andy points out that it is not nearly as dire as I paint it, because of the incredible range of diesel cars. He averages 1000Km between fills (620 miles) and has done 1400 with a tailwind. (869 miles) so you don't need a lot of biodiesel stations to get across the country.comments from MapMuse: has recently introduced interactive mapping of biodiesel fuel stations and ethanol 85 fuel stations across the US. There are presently over 650 ethanol 85 fuel stations, and 350 biodiesel fuel stations located on the MapMuse maps.

The idea is for alternative fuel enthusiasts to build upon what we have started by adding information about their local ethanol 85, and biodiesel fuel stations to the maps. The following information can be provided for each station- the name, descriptive text, a photo, contact information, and a link to a website. Through this kind of community effort, we hope to have the most comprehensive, and descriptive maps for the public to locate alternative fuel stations at home, and on their travels. So we invite you to let others know about what is available in your community. There is an ADD and EDIT feature on the site . Once a visitor suggests a change, it is reviewed for appropriateness and then posted within a few hours. This service constitutes free advertising for the alternative fuel stations.