With the recent hype created by full-page magazine ads and rising gas prices, consumer interest is rising in flex fuel vehicles that can run equally well on either regular gasoline or the ethanol/gasoline blend dubbed E85.
Although we tend to think of E85 as a new technology, it's not as new as it seems. Automakers, especially those based in the US, have been manufacturing flex fuel vehicles for many years. When gas was $1.00 per gallon, though, it wasn't a big selling point, and most people driving older flex-fuel cars probably don't know that their cars can run on corn.

The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition has a list of flex fuel cars dating back to 1998. But don't get too excited if you realize that your minivan can run on E85, that is, unless you have a friend in the military--the vast majority of E85 fueling stations are located on military bases and are not open to the public. If you're still a few years from that next car purchase, though, and spend a lot of time on base or at the Pentagon, then check your VIN and see if you can take advantage of your car's surprising feature.

[Source: National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition]


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