Options in the Lot

By KBJR News 1

May 25, 2012 Updated May 25, 2012 at 8:26 AM CDT

For many people buying their first NEW car, the process can be an exciting and time consuming.
There is a lot to consider when purchasing a new car, but today the most frequently asked question is how much gas does it use.

"Pretty much every car today that is made is fuel efficient compared to 10 years ago." Says David Solon of Kolar Toyota in Duluth.

Car manufacturers have heard the cries from the public over gas prices and are continuing to make a variety of fuel efficient vehicles.
But what makes a car fuel efficient?

"Well a lot of it is the technology today, whether it's a hybrid technology, or four–cylinders that are turbo charged or supercharged, diesel is stating to come back a little bit, but its very common for people to look at window stickers for EPA." said Solon.

Better gas mileage is a plus, but it isn't a permanent solution.
Not too long ago we thought we had a better solution to gasoline called E85, a mixture of alcohol made from corn and gasoline.

Solon explains, "The E85 basically in most cases lost 2–3 miles per gallon in the identical vehicle and you had a power loss, so the one dollar a gallon extra, most people didn't justify it."

E85 was not the solution the consumer wanted because it ended up being more expensive.
But if you travel around the world, most vehicles run on diesel fuel, which is more efficient than conventional gasoline.

"You see diesel starting to make a comeback, in the 70's and 80's there were a lot of diesels here." said Solon.

Diesel engines back then were not as efficient as they are today, which make them a good option when considering to buy a new car.
But this is still not a permanent solution to reducing our dependency on oil, so what does the future hold?

Solon answers, "I think you'll see the future is going to be fuel cell technology."

Fuel cells make electricity using a reaction with Hydrogen and Oxygen, however this technology is still years from being cost effective.
The most recent option is hybrid cars, and with 50MPG, you will definitely be saving money at the pump, but this is still just a temporary fix.

"You're probably going to find the hybrid technology is just the bridge between the traditional old car and what the new car is going to be." Solon said.

David Solon also says fuel cells are currently being tested in California and will likely be ready for the public market in the next 20 years.

Meteorologist Adam Lorch