The Alternative Fuel Roadshow cruises into town

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SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Gas prices are high a dent in our wallets and budgets across the state. But there might be a way to get around those high gas prices by using an alternative.

Wednesday, the Tennessee Alternative Fuel Vehicle Roadshow displayed propane, natural gas and bio-fuels that municipalities are using across the country.

In Tennessee, we have several cities and counties that have switched over to propane or natural gas vehicles.

Steve Whaley from Alliance Auto Gas said "The City of Kingsport started two years ago by outfitting law enforcement cars to operate on it and they have used it ever since."

But they aren't the only ones. The Sevier County Utility District have several trucks that run off natural gas.

Kevin Ford from the Sevier County Utility District said "We have 35 vehicles in our fleet and we're in the process of changing all of them over to compressed natural gas vehicles. It's going to save us money and free us from depending on foreign oil."

School buses are also making the switch and Morgan County has already invested in two propane powered buses.

Chuck Harvill from Central States Bus Sales said, "The buses run on propane which is cleaner and better for the kids on the bus when the windows are down. Also, the money you save on diesel gas is huge."

The estimated cost of natural gas and propane comes in around $1.50- $2.00 while the national gasoline average is around $3.50.

"We have cities like Greenville, South Carolina with law enforcement agencies that have saved $250,000 in fuel cost last year alone." said Steve Whaley

Saving money is one of the biggest reasons municipalities are making the big switch but there's two other reasons alternative fuels have grown in popularity.

"First, the United States supplies 98% of the world's natural gas and propane therefore, we would limit our foreign oil dependency. Second, natural gas and propane are cleaner than gasoline." said Steve Whaley.

It will take a few years for us to start driving propane or natural gas cars but the technology is here and being used successfully.

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