Most gasoline engines can easily be converted to Propane...farmers all over the mid-west do it all the time, many dealers have it done, and you can buy them already setup.
Ford and other US have "flex fuel" cars, which automatically reset the computer to run on Gasoline or 85 ethanol. The issue with all alternate fuels isn't availability of vehicles...it’s the support system. It is the chicken or the egg syndrome all over again. Until there are wide spread refueling/support systems, people will not change to alternate fuel. In a capitalistic economy, the support will not be built, until there is a market. In Europe they already have limited hydrogen fueling stations, but you can’t travel very far, only as far as the range of the fuel between stations that store or create hydrogen.
The fact is we have nearly a century of history in how to handle, store and dispense Oil, gasoline and petroleum products. Changing over to a new fuel would require developing an entirely new infrastructure from scratch. They did that is Brazil, back in the 70’s in response to the world oil crisis. It is finally in place and working well, it took 15 years to get processing infrastructure right and another 10 – 15 to get distribution throughout the country. Brazil didn’t have the infrastructure problems we have, they didn’t have to scrap their whole system and start over, nor do the have the population dispersion or have to deal with taking land out of food production and dedicate it to growing bio mass for ethanol production.
Take the model of data communications, the conversion from wire to wireless. Many, so called 3rd world countries are actually at an advantage. They do not have junk all the land lines that we have installed. All they need are a few a satellites in space and wireless towers on the ground; they have just jumped into the 21st century in one great leap. Technology is actually better for the late adopters than for those on the Bleeding edge. They get all the enhanced benefits, without all the experimentation and inconveniences which mark the early years, the early versions as the market decides which of competing technologies will provide the best services.
If you are doing this for a research paper... oh, never mind.
"They that can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither Liberty nor safety"-- Benjamin Franklin
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Beoweolf on 3/29/06 11:54am ]</font>