• May 6th 2010 at 10:56AM
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Turn back the clock to 2006, when Ford Motor Company announced it was taking flex-fuel vehicles seriously. That year, the company built 185,000 autos that could run on gasoline, ethanol or any combination of the two up to E85 (85 percent ethanol). Ford also pledged that the company's production of flex-fuel vehicles would double by 2010.
Flip forward to now and Ford is on target to meet its stated goal by year's end. 370,000 flex-fuel vehicles is nothing to sneeze at, but Ford shows no signs of stopping now. By 2012, the company hopes to offer flex-fuel capability on at least half of its vehicles. The one thing might stand in the way of meeting this goal is a lack of incentives. Ford admits that without government incentives for renewable fuel vehicles, producing them doesn't really make economical sense. Why does this appear to be the case across the board for alternative energy vehicles?

[Source: Green Car Reports]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      All cars should be flex fueled, since it is technologically a simple solution to decrease dependence on imports. We are going to need fuel for a decade or 2 in spite of the usual suspects of nay sayers. Biologicals could replace oil, coal and natural gas if it were necessary.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The only incentive alternative fuels need is a pump _price_ for gasoline that incorporates all of the _costs_ associated with relying on it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Harlanx6, I agree with you, but How are they generating this fuel? With Corn? That's the worst possible use of corn.
      Mr. Bush was right about one thing: SwitchGrass.
        • 5 Years Ago
        +1 Carney..
        • 5 Years Ago
        Food vs. fuel is a false choice. The majority of our farmland is uncultivated and rural areas are rapidly losing population, especially young people, because rising efficiency means fewer farmers can make more produce. That means there's tremendous slack capacity in the ag sector, in both cropland and manpower, for a truly massive expansion of output for biofuel, without affecting the food supply in the least.

        On corn specifically, it is also used to make cornstarch for body and foot powder, and for biodegradable plastic. Want to ban those too? Look, even while ethanol corn production has risen several fold in the last deface, "food corn" production has also risen, as has production of other staple crops like soybeans. It's not a zero-sum game.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Corn is still one of the most unproductive ways to make ethanol.
        I would think farmers we be interested in optimizing profits, which means they should be growing switchgrass.

        I mean if farmers are attempting to control corn prices, by pushing a percentage of corn into ethanol, that's one thing. But if their primary goal is to make money on ethanol, as a primary crop, they should be growing switchgrass, or something similar.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Whining that they cannot do the right thing because of a lack of financial incentives.

      Anyone need more proof that capitalism will destroy the human race.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So you drank the kool-aid. Good luck with that. Just in case you don't know just how wrong you are:

        Ukraine, China and Korea have never been socialist. They are/were communist countries. The Soviet Union was run more like a state-controlled capitalist country, that is why we were able to bankrupt them with out-of-control military spending. Korea is more a dictatorship than anything, perhaps you've heard of "Dear Leader?"

        The French and Sweden aren't starving. They've been socialist for most of the last century.

        China is communist so how are they able to clean our clock economically? The government sets standards for business to follow. They set goals and mandate a direction that the business community will follow. They make policies to constantly improve. And when business leaders decided to put toxic chemicals in dairy products the government put them up against a wall. I'd say America should be a little more like that.

        Nowadays, the only thing that American capitalism can do well is remove wealth from the poor and middle class and transfer it to the rich.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, ask those scores of millions of those dead from famine in Ukraine, China, and Korea how great socialism was, and if just being left alone to voluntarily trade and exchange with one another in peace and freedom might have been a better alternative than being dragooned into crackpot schemes.

        You know what capitalism is? It's what peaceful people do when the government leaves us alone.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I really appreciate the direction Ford is going with this. I do understand the fewer BTUs argument but if Ford can make a 1.6liter generate more power than a 2.0liter and get better maximum mileage on E85, it's win win. If that happens, E85 could sell for the same price as Gasoline and still be a better deal.

      It only doesn't make economic sense as a free market because the E85 market hasn't reached Critical Mass. Once that happens the increased consumption of E85 will grow the Market.

      worldcitizenUSA, those are very naive statements to make. It has nothing to do with capitalism and everything to do with Major Corporations controlling the American Economy and the Government feeding into it. Europe is the best example of the best that Socialism can do, which is nothing. They're not advanced in anyway. Unless you count socially, which, they're just more liberal/progressive not advanced. Britain has hyperinflated prices on everything. France is morally and financially bankrupt. And Germany is still trying to forget the 3rd Reich while they brainwash their children into believing that Germany should be more like France. We're not starving either, not yet. We make sacrifices to keep our way of life in the USA. I'm fairly sure that many people would give up an advanced and socially progressive culture for a more independent albeit modest way of living.

      Ford is saying that there needs to be more infrastructure and more money/incentives. Independent Gas Stations are saying that there needs to be more vehicles that run on E85 and more money/incentives. They need to figure out how to do this. Yes, the Government can speed this up like the Government of Brazil did. But Brazil was run by a Military Government at the time, most people would rather things took longer to happen than accept tyranny. It's not happening this year people, get over it. The internets is a fast paced place, the real world is much slower and resistant to change.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Why does this appear to be the case across the board for alternative energy vehicles?

      Are you serious? After more than 100 years of subsidies and development of the current oil and gas industry and the fact that we ignore the "real" cost of gasoline today?

      You really have to ask that question?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Who cares!
      Where's the plugin escape & Explorer!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It makes sense for Ford to want E85 to be cheaper and more of an option think about it they are switching to mostly Turbo motors E85 will allow them to run more boost at higher compression ratios well not having to fend of the evil doing's of Knock/Premature Detonation.
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