A University of Minnesota study published in PNAS looks at alternatives including ethanol and electricity and determined that "it's hard to beat gasoline." Even electric vehicles can do better or worse depending on how utilities source electricity.
Dec 17, 2014 AP via ABC News
The battleground is the Big Sandy coal power plant in eastern Kentucky. The owner, American Electric Power, under pressure from coal proponents, agreed to do a $1 billion retrofit rather than switching to natural gas. Victory was short-lived.
May 31, 2012 The New York Times - Energy & Environment