Flex-fuel vehicles have been available for sale since at least the early 1990s. Few of these hundreds of thousands have ever had a drop of E85 ethanol in their tanks because of lack of availability of the fuel in the United States. In the last few years many new E85 pumps have sprung around the country, but they are still relatively uncommon. In recent months, the effort to expand E85 availability has started to hit some speed bumps.

Recently, Underwriters Labs backed off on certification of complete ethanol compatible fueling systems because they determined that they needed more information about the corrosion resistance of the complete systems. The US Department of Energy has been providing grants to stations to help cover the cost of adding E85 pumps. Last September they gave out $5.4 million to the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition to distribute to stations. Unfortunately, that amount turned out to be the full amount of funds available for the 2006 and 2007 fiscal years and there are now no additional funds available until 2008. NEVC won't be able to help out any additional stations with E85 installations until next year, unless Congress approves additional funding for the program.

[Source: GreenCarCongress]


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