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Service lets drivers dial up alternative fuel

Wireless mobile information network Earthcomber helps drivers find alternative fuel from their mobile phones.

It's not easy saving the world. Take it from drivers who have opted to change from gasoline to ethanol, but find themselves struggling to find alternative-fuel locations. It seems like an arduous task when a Shell and a Chevron are located at practically every corner, but less than 1 percent of all U.S. gas stations offer e85, according to a survey by Pavillion Technogies.

Earthcomber screen

A new service from wireless mobile information network Earthcomber helps drivers find alternative fuel by letting them search for ethanol, biodiesel, hydrogen and other alternative-fuel fill-up locations from their mobile phones, BlackBerrys, PDAs and computers at no charge. All they have to do is visit Earthcomber's URL ( from their mobile Web browsers, go to the Transport list and type in their location. A list of potential stations will pop up.

Although this sounds like a clever and valuable service, the reality remains that there really aren't that many alternative fuel stations out there to find. Also, not every cell phone user has Internet access, which is necessary to use Earthcomber's service. I'd rather just Google "alternative fuel stations near San Francisco" on my laptop, or, better yet, rely on word of mouth to find the few applicable stations close to where I live. But maybe that's just me.